The Closed Door: A Democratic Problem in the Post-Political Careers of Cabinet Ministers

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

At the end of their political career, some politicians pass through ‘a revolving door’, while others face ‘a closed door’, in the sense that they have difficulty finding a job after their incumbency. Based on in-depth interviews with 15 Danish ex-ministers, this study shows how a minister's specialized skills, knowledge and networks related to the decision-making processes of government are considered by the ministers themselves to be important contextual factors that can lead to a revolving-door scenario for an ex-minister. Conversely, political profiling and a negative celebrity effect are key mechanisms that are considered to lead to a closed-door career outcome for ex-ministers. This closed door career outcome may discourage people from seeking a political career in the first place, and it may result in politicians continuing in politics after having lost the motivation that originally inspired their political career. Thus, the closed door phenomenon constitutes a potential democratic problem, knowledge of which is therefore an important addition to our knowledge on the democratic problems linked to the exit side of political careers.

TidsskriftScandinavian Political Studies
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)5-24
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2022

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work is part of the research project “Rewards at the Top” funded by the Danish Council for Independent Research, Social Sciences (grant number: DFF‐6109‐00052).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 Nordic Political Science Association

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