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 5: Germany: the smooth and silent emergence of advisory roles

Thurid Hustedt


These days leadership staff units in German federal ministries perform a distinct advisory role. Over time the former small assistance units have developed into fully fledged staff units, the heads of which, in particular, serve as close and confidant advisers to ministers. That is, although not appointed under special conditions or introduced by a formal reform process, they serve as the functional equivalents to the special or ministerial advisers found elsewhere. This chapter explores the emergence, contribution and role of the staff units and argues that the institutionalization of the relationship between politics and administration accounts for the smooth and silent emergence of the advisory role.

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