The Mayors’ Political Career: Between Local and National Ambition

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, the authors identify and explain variation in the mayors’ political career by identifying different career patterns. First, they focus on pre-mayoral experience examining seniority in municipal council and other political positions prior to the mayoral mandate. Second, they examine the professionalisation of mayors in office. Third, they analyze mayors’ ambition to remain in local politics or move on towards upper tiers of government. Mayors’ different career paths question the interconnectedness between the tiers of government as well as the emergence of local political actors across these levels. This empirical analysis shows that European mayoral careers are primarily locally oriented in terms of recruitment, occupation and future ambition. Differences within and across countries, however, can be explained by the specific national institutional and municipal socio-demographics configurations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Leaders and Changing Local Democracy. The European Mayor
EditorsHubert Heinelt, Annick Magnier, Marcello Cabria, Herwing Reynaert
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave MacMillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-67410-0
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


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