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The elusive professionnalisation of political counsel : a study of prime ministerial advisers in democratised Poland (1989-2014)

Abstract : The theme of advisers is virtually absent from analyses of the Polish political system, although the presence of these selected and non-elected actors in the configuration of governance adds to the complexity of questions of legitimacy and representation. This thesis aims to fill the gap by exploring the institutional affiliation, sociodemographic features, careers and roles of advisers to the prime ministers of Poland active between 1989 and 2014. It also suggests a reframing of the question of political counsel by embedding it in the context of delimitation of fields and professions. The analysis is oriented by the concepts of professionalisation, trajectory and boundary work, and it relies on a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. The results indicate that the institutionalisation of informality within advisory units, the irregularities in professional trajectories and the liquidity of the role shaped by changing preferences blur the boundaries between advisers and other categories of actors. At the same time, the consolidation of political cabinets in the institutional landscape, the convergences in advisers’ profiles, the adaptability of their role, and their self-identification as advisers suggest that multiple components of professionalisation are present. Political counsel appears thus as a set of diversified practices positioned in a variety of ways on the axes of the formal versus the informal, trust and expertise, science and politics, whose contradictory nature is also discussed and contested in this work.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 28, 2022 - 10:11:12 AM
Last modification on : Friday, April 29, 2022 - 3:35:53 AM


  • HAL Id : tel-03653800, version 1



Anna Sterczynska. The elusive professionnalisation of political counsel : a study of prime ministerial advisers in democratised Poland (1989-2014). Political science. Institut d'études politiques de Paris - Sciences Po; Instytut studiów politycznych (Pologne), 2017. English. ⟨NNT : 2017IEPP0034⟩. ⟨tel-03653800⟩



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