The bureaucratic arms of modern international organizations increasingly consist of staff with ambiguous organizational affiliations. This article analyses the implications of this trend from the perspective of representative bureaucracy – using seconded national experts (SNEs) in the European Commission (Commission) as the empirical laboratory. Using a variety of datasets, we unveil Commission SNEs' profiles (to assess their passive representativeness) and link these profiles to their role perceptions (to evaluate their potential for active representation). This illustrates that Commission SNEs' background characteristics do not match those of their constituent population (i.e. the EU27 population) – suggesting a lack of passive representativeness. However, we also find that SNEs from countries favoring stronger national rather than European regulatory and policymaking powers are more likely to see themselves as a representative of their home country government. This suggests a potential for active representation in terms of SNEs' home country's policy preferences.
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Representative bureaucracy and seconded national government officials in the European Commission, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/rego.12089. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.