Case study of the Ministrial advisors in the Danish central administration 1998-2018

Katrine Lind Danø & Julie Larsen Jacobsen

Student thesis: Bachelor project


This project investigates the development of the ministerial advisors in the Danish central administration between the years 1998 and 2018. This period of time has been chosen because the year of 1998, was the first year where the ministerial advisors received their own specific job description in Denmark.
The phenomenon of "ministerial advisors" is investigated by using John Gerring's methodical approach on single case study. This methodological approach is complemented by a document analysis of a number of official documents, including the Ministry of Finance's three reports on ministers, officials and ministerial advisors, published between 1998 and 2013.
Theory of formal politicization is involved and the project has been based on the defined problem: What development has been in formal politicization in the Danish central administration between the years of 1998 and 2018?
The project investigates a number of matters that is related to the ministerial advisors:
- The definition of the ministerial advisors
- The number of ministerial advisors
- The regulatory framework, guidelines and legal basis
- Wage level
- The organizational organization in the ministry
- The management area
- Educational background and previous employment
- Function and tasks
- Conditions of employment and resignation
Our investigation shows that there has been a development in the way you define a "ministerial advisor". In 1998, the ministerial advisors were defined only on their function or recruitment, whereas since 2004 they have been defined on the basis of on both their employment and function, including the ministerial advisor's connection with the minister's term of office.
There has also been a development in the number of special advisors, which has risen significantly from 4 in 1998 to 20 in May 2018.
Similarly, there have been changes in the educational and employment background of the ministerial advisors. The ministerial advisors have during this period of time chanced from the majority having a background in journalism, to present day where they mainly have higher university degrees. Our findings show that the number of special advisers recruited from the political term of office has varied over the years.
Our investigation shows that it is difficult precisely to define what the ministerial advisors function is. In 1998 this was due to the fact that the ministerial advisors had no previously independent job title. In recent years it has been difficult to define, because of the variety of the special advisory functions in the different ministries.
In general, the guidelines concerning the ministerial advisors have been further clarified since 1998 regarding all the issues investigated in this project, including the ministerial advisors' employment and retirement terms.
Our investigation shows that development has taken place in all of the factors that are part of this project and we conclude that there has been a development in formal politics in Denmark during the period from 1998 to 2018.

EducationsBasic - Bachelor Study Program in Social Science, (Bachelor Programme) Bachelor
Publication date28 May 2018
Number of pages57
SupervisorsBirgitte Poulsen