The Growth of Political Advisory Staff

  • Patrick Diamond


This chapter will examine the causes and consequences of recruiting an increasing number of political staff from outside the permanent civil service. The evidence is ‘politicisation’ has grown in recent decades as a consequence of the influx of appointees. The threat posed to the traditional Whitehall model from the escalation of partisanship is significant, upending the once sacred civil service ‘monopoly’ over policy advice. The debate is nevertheless more nuanced than depicted by images of shadowy special advisers. The nature of the policy process has changed radically over the last thirty years. The growth of policy-relevant research, the impact of new technology, and the demand for ‘user-driven’ public services led Ministers to seek varieties of specialist advice from outside the permanent bureaucracy. Politicisation ought not to be confused with the legitimate search for expertise.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick Diamond
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Politics and International RelationsQueen Mary University of LondonLondonUK

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