The cabinetization of the minister's court. What is it and why is it happening in Westminster systems?
Since the 1980s countries such as Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK have been experiencing growing numbers of political advisers along with new patterns of institutionalizing partisan involvement in governing. The suggested study argues that this reflects a process of cabinetisation defined as the process by which that part of the internal to government policy advisory system, which comprises ministerial offices, evolves towards or fully develops into a ministerial cabinet system like the ones to be found in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the European Commission. The emergence of political advisers as important third actors at the interface between politics and administration has raised a series of accountability and policy capacity challenges. For this reason, it is important to find out which factors explain variability in this process across Westminster systems across time. What is cabinetisation, to what extent is it happening and why? This project will map the development of cabinetisation in five selected Westminster system countries, across time. It will attempt to explain cross country, cross time differences in the process on the basis of five explanatory factors: critical elections, leftism, political control, civil service resistance and coalition politics. Data will be analysed using qualitative configurational analysis (QCA).