Aarhus University Seal

Peter Munk Christiansen

Does Politics Crowd out Professional Competence? The Organisation of Ministerial Advice in Denmark and Sweden

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Peter Munk Christiansen
  • Birgitta Niklasson, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
  • Patrik Öhberg, University of Gothenburg, Sweden

The use of politically appointed ministerial advisors has increased noticeably in many Western countries, but we know little about how this development has affected the civil servants recruited on merit. The article asks whether political appointees accentuate or blur the line between politics and administration. Do political appointees take over political-tactical advice and leave policy advice to the permanent civil service, or do they cause permanent civil servants to be even more influenced by political considerations? And do political appointees make it easier or more difficult for the permanent civil service to be politically responsive? A Most Similar Systems Design comparison of Denmark and Sweden allows an assessment of the effects of political appointees. It is found that a large number of political appointees decreases functional politicisation of the permanent civil service; that functional politicisation tends to crowd out tasks related to more classic policy advice; and that functional politicisation increases political responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWest European Politics
Pages (from-to)1230-1250
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2016

    Research areas

  • Denmark, Political advisers, Sweden, political appointees, politicisation

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 98416464