Ministers, Minders and Mandarins
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Ministers, Minders and Mandarins

An International Study of Relationships at the Executive Summit of Parliamentary Democracies

Edited by Richard Shaw and Chris Eichbaum

Ministers, Minders and Mandarins collects the leading academics in the field to rigorously assess the impact and consequences of political advisers in parliamentary democracies. The 10 contemporary and original case studies focus on issues of tension, trust and tradition, and are written in an accessible and engaging style.
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Chapter 4: Denmark: loyalty and the political adviser bargain

Peter Munk Christiansen and Heidi Houlberg Salomonsen


Denmark is a latecomer among Western democracies in terms of introducing politically appointed ministerial advisers, resulting in the lowest number of political advisers in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Danish special advisers’ role is primarily related to the political process, including media tactics, rather than to substantial policy issues, but they are increasingly involved in the latter. Although advisers’ roles have and still generate debate in the public and the civil service, these days they are an integrated part of the Danish ministerial machinery. Ministers’ loyalty is often complex due to, for example, factions in the minister’s party or coalition governments. Departing from the concept of a political advisor bargain (PAB) the chapter theorizes how this complexity may be reflected in the loyalty dimension of advisers’ PABs. Further, the chapter illustrates the empirical relevance of theorizing advisers’ loyalites, based upon the Danish experience.

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