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 6: Greece: political advisers and circles of trust in Greek ministerial cabinets: cardinals of the conclave, managers and the children of favouritism

Athanassios Gouglas


This chapter explores trust between ministers and their political advisers in Greek ministerial cabinets. While much has been said on the relationship between advisers and the civil service in past studies, our knowledge of the adviser-minister interface is rather limited. Very little is known about the issue of trust, which is the real currency in that relationship. Trust buys influence with the minister. For this reason it demands more scholarly attention. The chapter is driven by a set of questions. How can trust be defined in the ministerial cabinet context and what are its sources? Do ministers trust their advisers equally or are there different circles of trust within cabinets; if so, which ones and why? In the end, how much currency does trust have with the minister when policy decisions are made? Is it always a source of influence and when does it backfire? Answers are explored using data from a questionnaire survey and interviews with political advisers in Greece in the periods 2010–13 and 2016.

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