Political Advisors Between Politics and Administration: A Conceptual Analysis

  • Anamarija Musa Assistant Professor at the Chair of Administrative Science, Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Keywords: political advisors, policy advisors, minister, executive authority, administration, state administration


These days political advisors are indispensable to state administration. They are appointed to their positions to advise ministers and the prime minister on public policy, various political aspects and coordination, or on public relations and aspects of communication. Their appointments depend on the minister’s term of office. Political advisors are not part of the civil service and different states take different approaches, if any at all, to regulating their status. The need for political advisors arises in conjunction with changes in management, the need to strengthen coordination, leadership and strategy, as well as the need to address a growing intensity of communication. Political advisors constitute a new factor in the dynamic between politicians and civil servants, and they bring about changes in the relationship between politics and administration. They generate a mistrust among the general public, due to a lack of transparency and accountability, as well as the fact that, as a rule, their position is governed by specific regulations, if any at all. Conflict of interest, in particular, is a cause for concern. The paper examines the reasons why political advisors may become key members of ministerial cabinets, analyses the concept of the political advisor and their various types and functions, and describes the consequences and key elements of the concept. Trends in some countries are also included.