Melinda Mills and Tomas Zwinkels received the ‘Research Talent’ (Onderzoekstalent) Grant from NWO to carry out the PhD project of Tomas Zwinkels: ‘Pathways to Power: Political Careers and Political Networks in the Netherlands 1945-2010’.
Pathways to Power: Political Careers and Political Networks in the Netherlands 1945-2010
This project introduces fundamentally new insights in explaining the political careers and networks of Dutch Members of Parliament from 1945-2010. Bridging the study of political elites, analysis of occupational careers and social network analysis, the project examines how political careers and networks have evolved and how these dynamics are mediated by individual characteristics, institutional arrangements of parties and contextual factors. Career mobility and entire trajectories are examined using event history and sequence analysis techniques. Longitudinal political networks are developed and related to career pathways. Three publically available datasets are developed, which will contain: individual political careers, contextual and network data from 1945-2010.
Central Research Question
How have political careers and networks evolved in the Netherlands (1945-2010) and how are these dynamics mediated by the individual characteristics of politicians, changes in institutional arrangements of parties and contextual factors?
1. How do differences in individual characteristics – human and political capital – lead to differences in political career trajectories and how does this change over time?
2. How does the impact of individual characteristics differ according to gender, larger contextual factors (e.g., party characteristics, election results), and how does this change over time?
3. How do institutional changes of parties (affirmative action policies) influence political career trajectories and how does this change over time?
4. How are the centrality and strength in a politician’s network and political power (i.e., upward career mobility) mutually dependent upon one-another?
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