The Implications of Career Ambition in Representative Democracy
Published by: University Press of Kansas
Title Page, Copyright
List of Tables
Preface and Acknowledgments
A former Swedish party leader once asked me what I study. I told him that I am interested in politicians with career ambitions. “Are there really such politicians?” he replied. The question was rather telling. In Swedish political memoirs and even in Swedish political science the notion of ambitious politicians has long been...
1. Are There Ambitious Politicians among Us?
This book is about personal motivators in the lives of politicians, especially those aiming for the highest levels of the political hierarchy—ambitious politicians. At the center of interest is the potential conflict between politicians’ personal ambition and their parties’ collective goals. The question is, how do politicians handle...
2. Political Ambition Theory
What actually drives our political leaders? In this chapter I will provide a brief recapitulation of what political scientists over the years have had to say about the motivations of politicians. In fact, it is almost only American scholars who have studied the subject. In the final section of the chapter I use this literature to outline...
3. Are There MPs Who Aspire to High Positions?
The survey question upon which the book is based was taken from the 1996 Parliamentary Study, in which MPs were queried about their interest in various political positions. The question read, “Where would you like to see yourself in ten years? (You may tick more than one box).” The MPs could select from eleven options...
4. Which MPs Aspire to High Positions?
A number of MPs report that they would personally like to have more prominent political positions. At this stage of the study, we could say that these individuals are “potentially ambitious” MPs. In this chapter I will bring greater clarity to the question of whether there is any substance to the MPs’ answers in order to assess...
5. Are There MPs with Real Career Ambitions?
We have been able to determine that there are MPs who have expressed an interest in more prominent positions and that they are a distinguishable group among parliamentarians. This group has what I call potential career ambition. For MPs with potential career ambition to qualify as MPs with “real” career ambitions...
6. Are Ambitious MPs Successful?
We now know there are ambitious politicians in the parliament. Two questions remain. On the one hand, I want to know whether ambitious MPs achieve career attainment. My question is simple: Does the drive to make a career in politics lead to career attainment? On the other hand, I want to put the Swedish results in a...
7. Is Sweden Different?
I contended in the introduction that Sweden may serve as an example of a political system where career ambition is not an effective motivator. What makes the case of Sweden interesting is that if career ambition is manifest in the parliament, there is good reason to assume that ambition is also an effective motivator in other...
8. Ambition in Representative Democracy
Competition for political office is critical to the function of a democratic system. A representative democracy without political representatives who compete for power is unthinkable. Nevertheless, the personal motivations of individual representatives for seeking power are a controversial subject. On the European horizon...
Page Count: 224
Illustrations: 35 illustrations
OCLC Number: 982488739
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Ambitious Politicians