The Legitimacy of Technocracy

A technocratic government can be defined as a political authority held by experts who are selected based on their scientific or technical competences rather then their political careers. Rather then election, academic or professional meritocracy is the road for power. The origin of the political thought of technocracy goes back to Plato who wrote that “Philosophers must become kings… or those now called kings must genuinely and adequately philosophize”. Nowadays, we would say that technocracy governance is the combination of science and politics. In the last years, the European Union has seen two technocratic governments: Italy’s governo tecnico of Mario Monti and Greece’s Papademos cabinet. Both have proved to be unpopular in the eyes of their people and were not reelected. Yet, at the same time, there seems to be a general deception with the political classes as people are deceived with partisan dictatorships and with the fact that party’s adherence is the only way to participate in the political life.

Are technocrats better fit to rule countries because of their expertise and their disinterest for party politics? Do they lack of legitimacy? Is it more democratic to make politics because you are part of a political party or because you have proven your expertise in a given field?


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