The Logics of Bureaucratic Appointments and the Construction of the New Ecuadorian Migration Policy

Wednesday, July 16, 2014: 8:55 AM
Room: Booth 45
Oral Presentation
William HERRERA , Political Science, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, France
This paper explores the logics of bureaucratic appointments during the first five years of the Ecuadorian president Rafael Correa’s administration (2007-2011) through the case study of recruitments in different levels of bureaucracy in one of the government’s new emblematic institutions – the National Secretariat for Migrants. With this case study, we aim to better understand the relations between bureaucratic appointments within the Secretariat and the process of designing and implementing the new Ecuadorian migration policy. 

By introducing a typology of actors that traces their careers (Becker, 1956) previous their entry to the Secretariat, this case study underlines the criteria employed for the appointments at the levels of Secretary, under-secretary and director. From this typology, an initial assumption can be made: the logics of bureaucratic appointments in the Secretariat depend not only on the appointees’ affiliation to Correa’s party, Alianza Pais, but also on their involvement in the social movement organizations mobilized for the migrants’ cause.

Relying on this tableau of actors, a detailed analysis will be presented shedding light on how the appointees dispose of a specific set of capitals (Bourdieu, 1972, 2004), practices and representations of the migration issue that allow them to shape the design of the nascent institution and the implementation of the Ecuadorian migration policy. It is finally through the lens of bureaucratic appointments that we will have a powerful entry point to further understand the interactions between the political and social movements spheres and their effects on the restructuring of the bureaucratic field during the Correa administration.

This paper is empirically based on a six-month field research at the Secretariat carried out from June to November 2011 and a series of 30 interviews with high officials of this institution.