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Boost or Brake? The Effect of Candidate Selection Rules on MPs’ Political Careers – The Case of Italy (2006-2016)

Elites
Political Leadership
Political Parties
Candidate
Bruno Marino
Università di Bologna
Bruno Marino
Università di Bologna
Nicola Martocchia Diodati
Scuola Normale Superiore
Luca Verzichelli
Università degli Studi di Siena

Abstract

Can more open candidate selection rules boost MPs’ careers? While the existing literature on the effects of candidate selection has focused to the consequences of different selection rules on MPs’ behaviour in parliament, little if any attention has been devoted to the analysis of the effects of candidate selection rules on political careers and on elite circulation. In this Paper, we aim at filling this gap by analysing the conditioning effect of candidate selection rules on the probability that MPs are selected for more relevant parliamentary offices or governmental offices. Specifically, we expect that candidate-selection-related variables may shape the effect of candidate-related variables (e.g. list position; tenure; party position) and the effect of factors related to the personalisation of political parties (e.g. the power of party leader in shaping electoral competitions and in controlling the party organisation). The Paper focuses on the past three legislative terms in Italy (2006-2016). This seems to be an interesting case in point to control for the effects of radical and incremental changes in the patterns of candidate selection on political careers. A novel dataset is explored - including information on Lower House MPs’ personal backgrounds and offices held during the political careers, as well as data on Italian parties’ and party system’s level of personalisation - during a period of deep transformations of parliamentary democracy and party system in Italy, that has seen the rise of new relevant actors, the emergence of new strong party leaderships, and the end of the so-called ‘fragmented bipolarism’.