Have you ever considered a political career? If not, you are in the majority. Who takes this path and why asks James Walter in the Australian Review of Public Affairs.
Most of us never seriously consider this option. What is the catalyst of political ambition? Are there characteristic patterns of social, psychological or professional development that stimulate entry into politics? If only those with particular qualities embark on a political career, what does this mean for the performance of our political elites? These questions of enduring significance for all of us are examined in James' review essay on two recent books: Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office andThe Psychology of Politicians.