Political advisers are now an established feature of the executive branch of government in the community of Westminster nations. However, there have been few attempts to establish why ministers appoint political staff, and even fewer that are empirically grounded in politicians' own experiences and reflections. The purposes of this article are to (i) establish ministers' motives for appointing political advisers, (ii) to theorise those motives through the lens of core executive studies and (iii) to assess the degree to which findings in one empirical setting enjoy wider applicability. Drawing on data from New Zealand, we find evidence that recourse to political advisers is one response to the multiple demands made of ministers in the context of contemporary governance; while that imperative has wider application, we also find that ministers' requirements are structured by personal and institutional variables which are contextually specific.
Parliamentary Affairs, 2014, 67 (3), pp. 584 - 616
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Parliamentary Affairs following peer review. The version of record Shaw, R., & Eichbaum, C. (2014). Ministers, Minders and the Core Executive: Why Ministers Appoint Political Advisers in Westminster Contexts. Parliamentary Affairs, 67(3), 584-616. doi: 10.1093/pa/gss080 is available online at: http://pa.oxfordjournals.org/content/67/3/584.