Publication details

Comparing ministerial advisers across politicization settings : Still hiding in the shadows?

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Year of publication 2024
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Governance
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Social Studies

Keywords ministerial advisers; civil service; politicization; executives; Central and Eastern Europe
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Description The article examines the proposition that the characteristics of ministerial advisers are shaped by specific settings of the politicization of ministerial administration. Four types of politicization settings are identified, resulting from variation in the scope of formal political appointments and appointments into bureaucracy. Using data from an original expert survey and semi-structured expert interviews, the contribution analyses eleven cases from Central and Eastern Europe. It documents that the functional differentiation of advisers from other administrative actors, and their political and policymaking roles, are conditioned by the politicization settings in which they operate. The political roles of advisers are most pronounced where they do not face other formal political appointees, and appointments into bureaucracy are low. Policymaking roles are strongest where formal political appointees manage high politics, and bureaucratic appointments are limited. The article also identifies “invisible” advisers as a new type of player unknown in established Western bureaucracies.
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