Who becomes a political advisor to icelandic ministers?


  • Gestur Páll Reynisson
  • Ómar H. Kristmundsson




Political advisors, ministerial administration, political elite, Icelandic Ministries.


The article examines the general background of political advisors to Icelandic ministers in the period 1971-2014 and how it has changed. Attributes such as age, education, and professional experience are analysed for the various governmental terms and by party affiliation. The authors propose a model explaining how the advisors' backgrounds affect the role they play as political advisors to ministers. The main findings are that the general background of political advisors has not changed much in the four decades under study. Nevertheless, the evidence reveals that it has become increasingly common for advisors to have a background of working in the media, while those with expert knowledge in the field of the ministry in question remain rare. The position of a political advisor seems to be a good launchpad for a career in politics later on.

Author Biographies

Gestur Páll Reynisson

Specialist in in Political Science and Public Administration.

Ómar H. Kristmundsson

Professor at Háskóli Íslands.



How to Cite

Reynisson, G. P., & Kristmundsson, Ómar H. (2014). Who becomes a political advisor to icelandic ministers?. Icelandic Review of Politics & Administration, 10(2), 169–190. https://doi.org/10.13177/irpa.a.2014.10.2.1



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