Handbook on Ministerial and Political Advisers


Handbook on Ministerial and Political Advisers

9781800886575 Edward Elgar Publishing
Edited by Richard Shaw, Professor of Politics, School of People, Environment and Planning, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand
Publication Date: 2023 ISBN: 978 1 80088 657 5 Extent: 452 pp
Making a significant, novel contribution to the burgeoning international literature on the topic, this Handbook charts the various methodological, theoretical, comparative and empirical dimensions of a future research agenda on ministerial and political advisers.

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Making a significant, novel contribution to the burgeoning international literature on the topic, this Handbook charts the various methodological, theoretical, comparative and empirical dimensions of a future research agenda on ministerial and political advisers.

With an international approach, a diverse range of expert and emerging scholars perform a thorough sociodemographic analysis of political and ministerial actors across different administrative traditions around the globe. Chapters examine their emergence on the executive stage, the circumstances and various institutional arrangements in which they operate, their contributions as policy workers and their turbulent relationship with the media. Questioning normative stances surrounding corruption in political–administrative relations, this transdisciplinary Handbook provides a constructive, nuanced understanding of the nature and agency of ministerial and political advisers.

Addressing both historical and contemporary matters relevant to ministerial and political advisers, this innovative Handbook will prove vital to students and scholars of politics, regulation and governance, public administration, policy and management, and international politics. With fresh and constructive analyses of the field, it will also be a useful resource for private-sector and governmental practitioners seeking insights into the roles and impacts of these advisers.
Critical Acclaim
‘Shaw has curated a welcome and important contribution to our understanding of Ministerial and Political Advisers. Comprehensive in scope, theoretically and methodologically innovative, and empirically satisfying, this collection has a great deal to offer researchers and practitioners.’
– Helen Sullivan, Australian National University

‘This is an indispensable guide for scholars interested in how ministerial and political advisers shape public policy. With a clear and accessible style, contributors draw on a broad range of countries to describe the key controversies over the role of advisers and mark the path for new research on this critical topic.’
– Alasdair Roberts, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, US

‘Fifty years ago they started coming on the scene as scattered and shadowy “assistants”. Now, ministerial and political advisers are ubiquitous and institutionalised in many democracies. Are they indispensable lubricants in executive government, or an annoying and unaccountable force for politicising the public service? This impressive Handbook is the go-to place for state-of-the-art research on who these “powers behind the throne” are, how they operate and what influence they wield.’
– Paul ’t Hart, Utrecht University and Scientific Council for Government Policy, the Netherlands

‘Drawn together by one of the leading authors in the field, this outstanding collection of articles moves the study of political staff and ministerial advisers several large steps forward. Featuring contributions from prominent international scholars, the Handbook examines the location, content and nature of the high-level political and policy advice which often drives executive action in most contemporary governments. Unlike other work on the subject, the collection is explicitly comparative and its case studies of continental European, Westminster, Scandinavian, American, Asian and Latin American systems, especially, are at the leading edge of research on the subject. It is a must-read for students of executive government worldwide.’
– Michael Howlett, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Contributors: Jostein Askim, Tobias Bach, Alexandre Belloir, Andrew Blick, Marleen Brans, Mathilde Cecchini, Bernadette Connaughton, Jonathan Craft, Fabrizio Di Mascio, Chris Eichbaum, Athanassios Gouglas, Dennis Grube, Evan T. Haglund, Thurid Hustedt, Rune Karlsen, Kristoffer Kolltveit, Wei Li, Maria Maley, Arthur Meert, Pieter Moens, Alessandro Natalini, Yee-Fui Ng, Guy Peters, Heath Pickering, Rod Rhodes, Charis Rice, Marek Rybář, Diego Salazar-Morales, Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen, Richard Shaw, Patrícia Silva, Eivind Smith, Pierre Squevin, Katarína Staroňová, Amalie Trangbæk, Caspar van den Berg, Sylvia Veit

1 Introduction to the Handbook on Ministerial and Political Advisers 2
Richard Shaw and Chris Eichbaum
2 Of ideal-types and images: advisers and political-administrative relations 13
Alexandre Belloir and Caspar van den Berg
3 The story so far: what we know (and don’t know) about ministerial advisers 26
Athanassios Gouglas

4 Institutions matter: new institutionalist approaches to the study of
ministerial advisers 46
Fabrizio Di Mascio and Alessandro Natalini
5 Public service bargains: advisers in the executive ménage à trois 61
Richard Shaw and Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen
6 Policy advisory systems: location, agency, and influence 76
Sylvia Veit
7 From institutionalism to court politics and all points between: the
theoretical context of executive government 89
R. A. W. Rhodes

8 Survey research and ministerial advisers’ scholarship 110
Kristoffer Kolltveit, Rune Karlsen, and Jostein Askim
9 Using the interpretivist methodology 123
Amalie Trangbæk and Mathilde Cecchini
10 The comparative method in ministerial adviser research 137
Heath Pickering, Marleen Brans, and Guy Peters
11 Studying ministerial advisers’ careers and profiles: the prosopographic
method 155
Marleen Brans, Arthur Meert, Pieter Moens, and Pierre Squevin
12 Systematic literature reviews: opportunities and limits in ministerial
adviser research 173
Arthur Meert, Heath Pickering, Marleen Brans, and Athanassios Gouglas

13 Traditions in Asia 197
Wei Li
14 Ministerial advisers in central and eastern Europe: transition belts or
something else? 208
Katar’na Staroňov‡ and Marek Ryb‡ř
15 The Continental tradition of ministerial advice: no institutional home
for ministerial advisers? 221
Thurid Hustedt
16 Ministerial advisers in political systems of the Napoleonic
administrative tradition: the ministerial cabinet 232
Arthur Meert, Marleen Brans, Fabrizio Di Mascio, Athanassios Gouglas,
Alessandro Natalini, and Patrícia Silva
17 Ministerial advisers in the Scandinavian tradition 251
Jostein Askim, Kristoffer Kolltveit, and Eivind Smith
18 Conceptualising the ministerial adviser in Latin America: roles and
relationships with the bureaucracy 266
Diego Salazar-Morales
19 ‘31 Flavors’: the American system of ministerial (secretarial) advisers 282
Evan T. Haglund
20 The Westminster tradition 296
Bernadette Connaughton, Charis Rice, and Richard Shaw

21 Advising political leaders: history matters 313
Andrew Blick
22 Ministerial advisers and policy-making 326
Jonathan Craft
23 Policy-making in the executive triangle: a comparative perspective on
ministers, advisers, and civil servants 338
Tobias Bach and Thurid Hustedt
24 Politics and politicisation: bane or boon companion? 352
Dennis C. Grube
25 Keeping them honest: accountability and regulation 365
Yee-Fui Ng
26 Ministerial advisers and the media 378
Rune Karlsen and Kristoffer Kolltveit
27 The biographies of ministerial advisers: why and how gender and career
trajectories matter 390
Maria Maley

28 For better or for worse? Into the future 406
Richard Shaw
Glossary: common terms and concepts found in the literature on ministerial advisers 419
Heath Pickering
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