Local councillors in Spain and England. A Comparison of Recruitment Patterns, Political Careers, and Visions of Democracy in Multilevel Systems


GT 3.8 Elites políticas y gobernanza multinivel en la Europa del siglo XXI

Autor/a
Juan Ignacio Criado Grande (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Coautor/es
Carmen Navarro Gómez
David Sweeting

This paper explores the characteristics of local political elites in Spain and England, regarding to recruitment patterns, political careers, and visions of democracy. This paper will present part of the results derived from the European project Political Leaders in European Cities, devoted to strengthening the knowledge about city council members in 17 countries (with previous results published in Back, Heinelt and Magnier, 2006). National surveys were undertaken with mayors and political leaders in these countries, with comparative analysis of results is now in progress. This paper will focus on recruitment patterns, political careers, and visions of democracy of local elites. This type of political actor has been traditionally underestimated in the multilevel governance system in the European Union. Thus, profiling the raison d’etre of their selection, the diversity of their political careers, and their opinions about democratic processes, will add to understanding of their role within the governance system in the European Union. The attention to Spain and England draws the opportunity to contrast two of the most intriguing cases across the European landscape.