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Between Layman and professional? Political recruitment and career development of local councillors in comparative perspective

Kristof Steyvers (UGent) and Tom Verhelst (UGent)
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Abstract
This article sets the framework for the subsequent special issue on political recruitment and career development of local councillors in a comparative perspective. After conceiving recruitment and career development as a funnel-like process filtering out the few from the few and leading to patterns of interpositional mobility in the political realm, the article proceeds by proposing the ideal-types of layman and professional to characterize the poles of the continuum upon which current trends in recruitment and career may be situated. Overall, these trends seem to point at a shifting structure of opportunities with predominant professionalization and partial socio-demographic democratization. Still, from a comparative perspective the extent to and the pace by which these general trends emerge are likely to be contingent upon the country, the municipality and the individual councillors studied. The comparative dataset on which the issue draws offers a unique opportunity to discern empirical patterns in the factors discussed above. The article concludes by outlining the issue and summarizing its main findings revealing a complex reality in the different phases of recruitment and career development of the contemporary councillor in Europe.
Keywords
local councillors, professional, layman, PARTY, REPRESENTATION, SELECTION, MODELS, career development, recruitment

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Chicago
Steyvers, Kristof, and Tom Verhelst. 2012. “Between Layman and Professional? Political Recruitment and Career Development of Local Councillors in Comparative Perspective.” Lex Localis-journal of Local Self-government 10 (1): 1–17.
APA
Steyvers, Kristof, & Verhelst, T. (2012). Between Layman and professional? Political recruitment and career development of local councillors in comparative perspective. LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT, 10(1), 1–17.
Vancouver
1.
Steyvers K, Verhelst T. Between Layman and professional? Political recruitment and career development of local councillors in comparative perspective. LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT. 2012;10(1):1–17.
MLA
Steyvers, Kristof, and Tom Verhelst. “Between Layman and Professional? Political Recruitment and Career Development of Local Councillors in Comparative Perspective.” LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT 10.1 (2012): 1–17. Print.
@article{2153891,
  abstract     = {This article sets the framework for the subsequent special issue on political recruitment and career development of local councillors in a comparative perspective. After conceiving recruitment and career development as a funnel-like process filtering out the few from the few and leading to patterns of interpositional mobility in the political realm, the article proceeds by proposing the ideal-types of layman and professional to characterize the poles of the continuum upon which current trends in recruitment and career may be situated. Overall, these trends seem to point at a shifting structure of opportunities with predominant professionalization and partial socio-demographic democratization. Still, from a comparative perspective the extent to and the pace by which these general trends emerge are likely to be contingent upon the country, the municipality and the individual councillors studied. The comparative dataset on which the issue draws offers a unique opportunity to discern empirical patterns in the factors discussed above. The article concludes by outlining the issue and summarizing its main findings revealing a complex reality in the different phases of recruitment and career development of the contemporary councillor in Europe.},
  author       = {Steyvers, Kristof and Verhelst, Tom},
  issn         = {1581-5374},
  journal      = {LEX LOCALIS-JOURNAL OF LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT},
  keyword      = {local councillors,professional,layman,PARTY,REPRESENTATION,SELECTION,MODELS,career development,recruitment},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {1--17},
  title        = {Between Layman and professional? Political recruitment and career development of local councillors in comparative perspective},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.4335/10.1.1-17(2012)},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2012},
}

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