The political–bureaucratic interface has been the subject of much academic interest. However, research has tended to focus exclusively on wealthy institutionalized democracies, with little attention given to the political–administrative relationship in developing countries. However, recent evidence from reform processes in poorer nations increasingly highlights the importance of interactions between politicians and bureaucrats. This paper provides a systematic overview of the political–bureaucratic relationship in developing countries and in doing so makes two key contributions. First, it introduces a typology of political–bureaucratic relations based on four models—collaborative, collusive, intrusive, and integrated—discussing examples of each. Second, it analyses the main factors associated with different models of political–bureaucratic relations and considers how countries can move from one model of relations to another. The paper provides a much-needed entry point for scholars and policymakers to better understanding the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats in developing countries.