VEM BESTÄMMER I REGERINGSKANSLIET? En studie av tjänstemännens deltagande i policyprocesser på Finansdepartementet
In recent decades, the amount of political appointees in the Swedish Government Office has increased at a significantly higher rate than the amount of civil servants. Previous research has discussed that political appointees both strengthen and undermine the cooperation between ministers and civil servants in policy processes. However, there is a lack of knowledge about the political appointees’ influence in policy processes. This study focuses on the influence of political appointees and civil servants in policy processes in the Swedish Government Office through interviews with the two types of officials at the Ministry of Finance and an expert from a Swedish Government Official Report. The Swedish policy on air taxation (SFS 2017:1200) and documents from the policy process are central to highlight the work of the officials. The results indicate that political appointees considerably influence policy processes of political salience. But while the Secretary of State fulfills an important role in the decision-making, the political advisor has a less significant role. Civil servants on the other side have a particular influence when the policy is technically complicated, which seems to be the case with the policy on air taxation. Moreover, it is clear that various ministries and political staffs are structured in different ways. The differences, in combination with the focus on a single policy process and a single Ministry, limit the generalizability of the results in the study.