Junior ministers in Spain: recruitment and political careers of State Secretaries

GT 3.7 Tendencias actuales en el estudio de las elites políticas en España

Miguel Jerez Mir (Universidad de Granada)
Juan Rodríguez Teruel (Universitat de València)
Sesión 1
Día: jueves,19 de septiembre de 2013
Hora: 11:45 a 14:15
Lugar: E11SEM02

State Secretaries occupy the highest level in the Spanish central administration under ministers. Though they are not members of the government, they are mainly political offices, appointed by the cabinet, and responsible for running and managing extensive parts of the State administration under the sole supervision of the minister or the prime minister. Given their importance, it is surprising that they have attracted scarce academic attention, particularly among political scientists (an exception being that of Parrado 1996). In this paper we aim to contribute to fill this gap, by focusing on the recruitment and political careers of Spanish secretaries of State during the current democratic period (1977-2012). The main questions we deal with are 1) what are the profiles of those who occupy the position – both in terms of the socio-demographic and professional characteristics, as well as their previous political career paths (both partisan as well as in public offices)? 2) Is it possible to clearly identify patterns depending on the political relevance of the portfolio they are ascribed to or the type of matter (i.e. political, economical, welfare) it deals with? 3) What is the significance of having been secretary of State for later political careers? To answer these questions, we use data on the whole population of Spanish secretaries of State since 1977, containing information both on their social and professional background, as well as on their entire political careers (before and after occupying the position,) the latter being coded in longitudinal form. 

Palabras clave: gobierno, carreras políticas, elites políticas, ministros