The Spanish local government political elite. Patterns of professionalization and dualisation of roles

GT 3.6 Reclutamiento y carreras políticas en sistemas multinivel

Carmen Navarro Gómez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
Juan Ignacio Criado Grande

This paper seeks to analyse the trends towards professionalisation in local elected representatives in Spain. Drawing on two international research projects – on the one hand a survey on European mayors (Bäck/Heinelt/ Magnier 2006) and on the other hand a study on European city councillors (“MAELG” project) it attempts at evaluating the indicators of professionalisation: time spent in office or political issues, allowances perceived, political careers, relations with the party. It considers all categories of local elected representatives but focuses its attention in a specific group of them: those who are members of the executive boards or cabinets. To the extent that they hold specific portfolios and are closer to the tasks of government, we assume that their patterns of professionalization are more intense and that their visions on the machinery of government and on the implementation of public sector reforms will be different. Identifying these distinctive traits and advancing tentative explanations and effects will be the core of the study. The findings confirm that executive functions transform councilors’ behavior in the local world and that there is a dualisation of roles within Spanish municipal councils.