Political advisers in the executive branch

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Political advisers have become significant and entrenched actors within the executive in the Westminster, European, and American systems. This chapter discusses the diversity in the models of political advice that have been utilized in the developed world, and the increasing scholarly focus on the roles and influence of political advisers in executive government. It explores the three main dimensions of literature on political advisers: the empirical, relational, and legal. In doing so, the chapter explores the roles, performance, and influence of political advisers in the Westminster, European cabinet, and American systems, their interactions with ministers and the bureaucracy, as well as mechanisms to ensure their accountability. Finally, the chapter proposes a future research agenda based on empirical, jurisdictional, comparative, institutional, theoretical, and normative considerations, which will further enrich and deepen the study of political advisers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Political Executives
EditorsRudy B. Andeweg, Robert Elgie, Ludger Helms, Juliet Kaarbo, Ferdinand Müller-Rommel
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages21
ISBN (Print)9780198809296
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • political advisers
  • executive
  • ministerial advisers
  • public service
  • westminster
  • european
  • united states

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