Elite recruitment and political career patterns: a comparative analysis of political parties in Turkey
Kocapınar Yıldırım, Gülnur (2018) Elite recruitment and political career patterns: a comparative analysis of political parties in Turkey. [Thesis]
This dissertation aims to explain the determinants of political elite recruitment and political career patterns in Turkey, with specific reference to deputies (MPs) of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TBMM), candidates running in general elections and local party elites. It provides answers to the questions of “what are the determinants of career patterns of political elite in Turkey?”, “why and how do some individuals become first-ranked candidates even though they have never run in general elections prior to their candidacy?” and “why do some individuals become candidates in general elections even though their electability chances are low?”. Questions are answered by the help of two unique datasets (MPs dataset and MP candidates dataset) consisting of data between 2002 and 2015, and in-depth interviews conducted with local party elites of four political parties in Turkey. Data were compiled from the official websites of the TBMM, Supreme Election Council of Turkey and political parties. MPs dataset includes socio-economic backgrounds, legislative, party, local politics and civil society experiences of the MPs, while MP candidates dataset contains information on candidates who ran in general elections, and election results (2002-2015). Results show that the composition of the MPs in the TBMM has changed through time; ideological stances of political parties affect the composition of their MPs; political parties strategically revise their party lists and specifically change first-ranked candidates in districts where they are electorally vulnerable; and ambitious politicians accept unwinnable candidacy ranks with the expectation of pushing their ranks to electable positions in future elections.
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