Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : Although Europeans are favourable towards the idea of being governed by ‘independent experts’, and despite the burgeoning literature on technocratic ministers, we still miss important information about the profiles of technocrats in government. This article provides new insights into the characteristics of non-partisan, non-elected ministers and the roles they perform once in government based on a Technocratic Ministers’ Dataset covering all governments in 31 European countries from 2000 to 2020. First, we show that average share of technocratic (as opposed to partisan) ministers in European cabinets rose from 9.5% to 14.2% over the last two decades. This increase is characteristic of all macro-regions, except Scandinavian countries. Second, technocratic ministers are assigned to a diversity of portfolios and not just finance and economy, which, respectively, account for only 15% of technocratic ministers. Finally, technocratic ministers do not hold office for shorter periods of time than partisan ones, except when they are part of caretaker cabinets.