Making a (Political) Career: Young Party Members and Career‐Related Incentives for Party Membership

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Abstract

Few empirical studies have investigated career‐related incentives for party membership, including for young party members. Through the lens of rational choice, we ask what career‐related incentives young and active party members consider when calculating costs and benefits of party membership. We argue for a broad understanding of career‐related incentives, including careers outside party politics. The study is based on in‐depth interviews with 25 young party members in Sweden. Our main empirical finding is that the interviewees experience a ‘super‐dilemma’: Although the young party members might consider a political career, they think it is important to leave the party if it departs from their perceived ideology. Hence, these young members must keep non‐political career options open. At the same time, many of the interviewees express concern that their party membership could negatively affect their non‐political career.

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Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science
Original languageEnglish
Article numberonline first
Pages (from-to)1-23
JournalScandinavian Political Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2021 May 5
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes