Backrooms and Beyond: Partisan Advisers and the Politics of Policy Work in Canada
Published: April 2016© 2016
328 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 0.76 in, 8 figures
Though they serve in many roles and under many titles, no one doubts that political staffs now wield substantial influence in the making of government policy. Backrooms and Beyond draws on interviews with ministers, senior public servants, and political advisers to offer the first detailed Canadian treatment of how that influence is gained and exercised in the policy making process.
A comparative analysis of case studies from three Canadian jurisdictions, including the federal Prime Minister’s Office, two premier’s offices, and ministers’ offices, the book presents a detailed account of partisan advisers’ involvement in policy work and a new theoretical framework for understanding this work and its impact. As Jonathan Craft shows, partisan advisers often engage in policy work with public servants, outside stakeholders, and often in types of policy work that public servants cannot.
Backrooms and Beyond is a rich and rigorous look at an important aspect of contemporary Canadian politics, essential reading for scholars and practitioners, journalists, students of the Westminster system from around the world, and those wanting to understand just how policy is made today.
Introduction. Partisan Advisers, Policy Work, and The Political Arm of Government in Canada
Chapter 1. A ‘No Surprises’ Environment
Chapter 2. Institutionalization, Expansion, and Specialization
Chapter 3. Buffers and Bridges at the “Centre”
Chapter 4. Movers and Shapers at the Centre
Chapter 5. He Said/She Said: Ministers’ Office Buffers and Bridges
Chapter 6. Movers and Shapers Down the Line
Chapter 7. Conclusion. Core Executives, Partisan Advisers, and the Politics of Policy Work in Canada
Appendix A. Federal Exempt Staff by Department (March 31, 2001 - March 31, 2014)
Appendix B. Organization of B.C. Premier’s Office (2001)
Appendix C. Organization of B.C. Premier’s Office (2011)
Appendix D. B.C. Ministers’ Office Staff by Department and Classification (1996-2001)
Appendix E. Interview Index
“It is a thoughtful and reassuring guide for those left confused or concerned by the limited insights of the [Mike] Duffy trial.”Howard Anglin, Policy Options, August 15, 2016
‘Craft’s study is the first in decades to meaningfully differentiate the roles of political staff in order to focus on those who provide policy advice. This book is essential reading for scholars who are interested in policy making, public administration, and Canadian institutions generally.’Anna L. Esselment, Canadian Journal of Political Science vol 50:03:2017
"Backrooms and Beyond is an interesting and insightful contribution to our understanding of policy work. Through his case studies, Jonathan Craft convincingly shows that partisan advisers do matter for contemporary governing in Canada, especially in and around the core executive."Michael J. Prince, Lansdowne Professor of Social Policy, Faculty of Human and Social Development, University of Victoria
"Jonathan Craft is among the most knowledgeable thinkers on this topic in Canada. His book is a tremendous contribution to the field."Bryan M. Evans, Department of Politics and Public Administration, Ryerson University