Department of Political Science

Pre-parliamentary party career and political representation

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Members of parliament are accountable to both their district and party. Consequently, they have to balance their responsiveness to these competing principals when their preferences diverge. Existing research on this representational dilemma focuses mostly on the role of political institutions, whereas this article offers a new individual-level explanation: pre-parliamentary party careers. Using sequence analysis, three ideal-typical pre-parliamentary career paths are identified: the party local, the party functionary, and the party civilian. The share of party locals increases over time at the expense of party civilians in the Danish parliament, and these party locals are more likely to diverge from the party’s position when it is unpopular among their constituents. These findings corroborate existing evidence of political professionalisation in parliamentary democracies, but they also suggest that professionalisation may be associated with a localisation of politics leading to more rather than less constituency representation.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWest European Politics
Volume43
Issue6
Pages (from-to)1315-1338
ISSN0140-2382
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Denmark, pre-parliamentary careers, recruitment, representation, sequence analysis, voting advice application

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