Panel Proposal for the 25th World Congress of Political Science for RCLS / RC 08 Legislative Specialists (21-26 July 2018, Brisbane)

Convenor: Michael Edinger
Chair: Michael Edinger, Friedrich Schiller University Jena
Co-Chair: Marija Taflaga, Australian National University Canberra
Discussant: Csaba Nikolényi, Concordia University Montreal

Parliamentary recruitment is a well-established sub-discipline of parliamentary research, and candidate selection has recently been attracting more attention from scholars. However, hardly any research has been conducted on the exits from parliament or on the careers of former Members of Parliament. This is surprising because such research promises to substantially enhance our knowledge of the career strategies of politicians, the relevance of membership and positions in parliament for political careers, and the commitment to parties when party discipline is no longer imminent.

The proposed panel will address research on MPs and their careers beyond their term in parliament. It will examine all aspects of parliamentary exit – voluntarily or imposed, during or at the end of a term, caused by electorates or selectorates – just as the variety of career paths following the departure from the legislative assembly.

Empirical research on the circumstances of departure from parliament should provide a much better understanding of career trajectories and patterns. The papers may also investigate former MPs and their post-parliamentary activities in order to learn about the permeability of the political sector, the cohesion of political parties, or their capacity of patronage. The panel should further provide new insights into the function of parliaments for political careers ranging from episodic membership (waiting room) to a final career destination, and from serving as a retirement home to a springboard to higher offices.

Conceptual approaches may include perspectives from representation or delegation theory, elite studies, and research on political careers, among others. Contributions are invited from both junior and senior scholars and may involve a qualitative, quantitative or a mixed-methods design. Paper proposals by scholars from the Global South are particularly welcome as are comparative papers.

Please send your paper proposal to Michael Edinger by 15 August 2017.

Dr. Michael Edinger
Friedrich Schiller University Jena