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Multiple-office holders in France and Germany: Dreaded challengers or creatures of their party?

Abstract : Multiple-office holding (holding simultaneously more than one elected position at different levels) represents a dilemma for political parties in terms of personnel selection. On the one hand, politicians who already have one elected position and want to gain an additional one are an electoral asset for their party since they have already demonstrated their ability to convince the electors and since they can rely on the resources of their current mandate to campaign. On the other hand, multiple-office holders are also a threat because they are able to accumulate individual resources not controlled by the party which makes them more independent. Parties in France and in Germany seems to respond differently to this dilemma. Whereas most French MPs hold concurrently one local mandate and maintain it for a long time, only a minority of German MPs hold a local mandat and they tend to abandon it after they entered parliament. Moving beyond culturalist explanations of the high level of multiple-office holding in France (cumul des mandats), we want to test the effects of institutional and systemic factors such as the total number of mandates available in each country, the role of parliament in the German federal and parliamentary system as opposed to the French centralised and semi-presidential regime. Institutional factors of special importance are the electoral rules. We assume that the more an election is individualized (uninominal rather than list, majority rather than proportional) the more leverage the politicians have to decide about their own fate; this, in turn, allows individual politicians to garner mandates even against the interest of their party and should increase the frequency of cumul des mandats. Thus, our analysis of cumul des mandats combines an analysis of the cost for parties to let their politicians hold several mandates with an analysis of the autonomy of individual politicians within their party organization under the specific institutional rules in France and Germany. The data for the empirical analysis is provided by both a French and German dataset comprising biographical and career informations for national MPs
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https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00512793
Contributor : Armelle Jézéquel Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 3:59:28 PM
Last modification on : Monday, November 29, 2021 - 3:39:01 PM

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Julien Navarro, Lars Vogel. Multiple-office holders in France and Germany: Dreaded challengers or creatures of their party?. 5th ECPR General Conference, Section 52: "The Organisation of Conflict Inside Political Parties", Panel 528 "The Personnel Strategies of Political Parties in Comparative Perspective: Does the Electoral System Matter?", Sep 2009, Potsdam, Germany. ⟨halshs-00512793⟩

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