James W. Harpel Professor of Capital Formation and Growth
Greece and Italy, desperate after their gridlocked political systems left them mired in debt and crisis, have chosen technocratic economists - Lucas Papademos and Mario Monti, respectively - rather than politicians to lead new governments. Both can be described as professors: Monti has been president of Milan's Bocconi University as well as a European commissioner, and Papademos has been my colleague at Harvard's Kennedy school of government since he finished as deputy governor of the European Central Bank.
Soon, both men will most likely provoke headlines such as: "Professors earn 'A' in economics, but flunk politics." That will be unfair. It is not a lack of political ability that will stymie them, but a lack of political power.
Frankel, Jeffrey A. "Let European Technocrats Weave Their Magic." Sydney Morning Herald, November 29, 2011.