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Ascent of the Young, the Smart, and the Professional: Norway’s Parliamentary Elite in Comparative Perspective1

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image of Comparative Sociology
For content published from 1960-2001, see International Journal of Comparative Sociology.

[Abstract A main feature of Norway’s parliamentary elite in recent decades has been its dramatically increasing proportion of young, highly educated, and professional politicians – MPs whose previous careers have been almost wholly in party work. Whether this trend is connected to the financial support parties receive from the Norwegian state is an interesting question because state support has increased and enabled parties to hire more people to work for them. Consequently, the pool from which professional politicians can be recruited to parliament has expanded. There are, however, other important bases of parliamentary elite circulation in Norway: quotas for female candidates and MPs in some parties; geographic representation; strong controls on candidate selection by county and local party branches. I assess these patterns longitudinally in parliamentary elections during the past 60 years and comparatively as regards relevant changes in other Nordic parliaments., AbstractA main feature of Norway’s parliamentary elite in recent decades has been its dramatically increasing proportion of young, highly educated, and professional politicians - MPs whose previous careers have been almost wholly in party work. Whether this trend is connected to the financial support parties receive from the Norwegian state is an interesting question because state support has increased and enabled parties to hire more people to work for them. Consequently, the pool from which professional politicians can be recruited to parliament has expanded. There are, however, other important bases of parliamentary elite circulation in Norway: quotas for female candidates and MPs in some parties; geographic representation; strong controls on candidate selection by county and local party branches. I assess these patterns longitudinally in parliamentary elections during the past 60 years and comparatively as regards relevant changes in other Nordic parliaments.]

Affiliations: 1: Political Science, University of Oslo, Email: h.m.narud@stv.uio.no

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2011-01-01
2016-12-05

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