Arise, Careerless Politician: The Rise of the Professional Party Leader

Journal article


Barber, S (2013). Arise, Careerless Politician: The Rise of the Professional Party Leader. Politics. 34 (1), pp. 23-31.
AuthorsBarber, S
Abstract

Taking as its starting provocation Philip Cowley's 'Arise, Novice Leader!', this article contributes to the discussion of the nature of today's party leaderships. 'Experience', even for political office, should be viewed as 'real-world' work as much as time served in parliament. By quantifying non-political pre-parliamentary experience of post-war leaderships, I show both that current leaders are relatively 'careerless' and that this is not historically unusual. While Cowley's observation is that their parliamentary experience is also limited, by reintroducing 'political experience' into the numbers, I demonstrate that Cameron, Clegg and Miliband are among the most experienced leaders since 1945 in terms of total pre-parliamentary work but further removed from the 'real world' of those they represent. My argument is that in the contemporary context, such grounding at the top of politics partially explains the election of these professional leaders. © 2013 The Author.

Keywordsparty leadership; work experience; career politicians; professional politicians; pre-parliamentary work; 1606 Political Science; Political Science & Public Administration
Year2013
JournalPolitics
Journal citation34 (1), pp. 23-31
PublisherLondon South Bank University
ISSN0263-3957
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/1467-9256.12030
Publication dates
Print01 Sep 2013
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Aug 2017
Accepted01 Sep 2013
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY 4.0
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https://openresearch.lsbu.ac.uk/item/878xv

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