A History of Rotation in Office

  • Mark P. Petracca
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 10)


Term limitation is not a new idea. It is firmly rooted in the idea and historical practice of rotation in office. A rather simple, but precise definition of rotation in office was provided by Thomas Jefferson, a devoted advocate and practitioner of the rotative principle: [I]n America, . . . by the term rotation in office, then, we mean an obligation on the holder of that office to go out at a certain period” (Foley, 1967:786). An obligation to leave office after a predetermined term of service by elected or appointed public officials constitutes the action involved in the rotative principle.


Public Office Comparative Perspective Term Limit Partial Rotation Administrative Office 
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

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  • Mark P. Petracca

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