Segmentation, Anticipation, and
Johan P. Olsen
The Norwegian Constitution of 1814 was written in the spirit of Montesquieu. Functions and powers were separated. The king was given executive leadership, with the right to select his advisers, the Cabinet, and to appoint his servants, the administrators. The introduction of parliamentary government in 1884 gradually converted the Cabinet into an executive committee of the Storting (parliament) and the king into a ceremonial leader. All power was to be assembled in the hall of the Storting. Since the executive derived its authority from the representatives of the people, it was to be dependent in large part on national elections and on laws, budgets, and other instructions from the Storting. Transactions with the administrators and those affected by governmental interventions would be dominated by legal- rational authority.
The concept of a parliamentary chain of governance has been-- and is--the prevailing interpretation of executive leadership in Norway. But there are alternatives. Interpretations oscillate between theories that assume the fate of the nation is decided by a powerful executive elite and the view that executive leaders are the prisoners of and bookkeepers for broad technological, economic, demographic,____________________