The further rise of the career politician

Forward Thinking
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Abstract

Political careers have changed dramatically in the last 50 years. Still, political science research has yet to fully quantify this development. Building on existing literature on career politicians, this study uses a handful of indicators introduced by King (Br J Polit Sci 11(3):249–285, 1981), a new variable (pre-parliamentary occupations), and an original data set compiled by the author. The paper’s contribution to the literature is threefold. Firstly, using the variables introduced by King, it observes that a plateau in the number of career politicians has been reached. Secondly, when looking at the occupational background of politicians, the data show a further rise in career politicians. Thirdly, this development is especially prevalent among cabinet ministers.

Keywords

British politics Political careers Political recruitment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author is deeply indebted to Anthony King whose invaluable advice and support were intrumental to this paper and the author's career. The author would also like to thank Jonathan Homola, Pippa Norris, Priya Shanmugam, participants at EPSA, Steven Kettell and the anonymous reviewers for helpful comments and suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard UniversityCambridgeUSA

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