Who Enters Politics and Why?

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Despite the importance of politicians, empirical work rarely examines who decides to enter politics and why. This survey presents conceptual issues in measuring political entry; reviews work on individual, organizational, and institutional determinants of political entry; and summarizes the main findings and puzzles related to the representation/competence trade-off in recent microcensus studies on who runs for office. Fruitful directions for future work are highlighted throughout the article.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)253-275
Number of pages23
JournalAnnual Review of Political Science
StatePublished - May 11 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Political entry
  • candidate entry
  • competence
  • political selection
  • politicians
  • representation


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