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Knowing the game: motivations and skills among partisan policy professionals
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Sociology. Institute for Futures Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7664-3705
2016 (English)In: Journal of Professions and Organization, ISSN 2051-8803, E-ISSN 2051-8811Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article focuses on “partisan policy professionals” (PPPs), i.e. people who are employed to affectpolitics and policy, and analyzes their particular motivations and skills. This article focuses on the occupationalpractices of PPPs: what are their main motivations and driving forces, and what are thekey skills they deploy in their work? The main motivation for PPPs is a desire to wield power and influencethe course of affairs, while their working-life satisfaction comes from getting their messageinto the media without becoming personally exposed. The key resource of PPPs is contextdependentpolitically useful knowledge, in three main forms: “Problem formulation” involves highlightingand framing social problems and their possible solutions. “Process expertise” consists of understandingthe “where, how, and why” of the political and policy-making processes. “Informationaccess” is the skill to be very fast in finding reliable and relevant information. These motivations andskills underpin a particular professionalism based in an “entrepreneurial ethos”, which differs fromboth the ethos of elected politicians, and that of civil servants, and which has some potentially problematicimplications for democratic governance.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
policy professionals; Sweden; political advisors; knowledge; power
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Research subject
Politics, Economy and the Organization of Society
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30917DOI: 10.1093/jpo/jow008OAI: diva2:975004
Swedish Research Council, 421-2011-1369Swedish Research Council, 421-2014-962
Available from: 2016-09-28 Created: 2016-09-28 Last updated: 2016-09-30Bibliographically approved

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