Policy Press

Publishing with Purpose

Who Enters Politics and Why?

Basic Human Values in the UK Parliament

By James Weinberg

Published

22 Jul 2020

Page count

232 pages

ISBN

978-1529209167

Dimensions

234 x 156 mm

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

22 Jul 2020

Page count

232 pages

ISBN

978-1529209181

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press

Published

22 Jul 2020

Page count

232 pages

ISBN

978-1529209181

Dimensions

Imprint

Bristol University Press
Who Enters Politics and Why?

Exploring unique survey and interview data on the personality characteristics of British politicians, this book provides a timely psychological analysis of those individuals who pursue political careers and how they represent their constituents once elected.

Focusing specifically on the Basic Human Values of more than 150 MPs as well as hundreds of local councillors, Weinberg offers original insights into three compelling questions: Who enters politics and how are they different to the general public? Do politicians’ personality characteristics matter for their legislative behaviour? Do voters really get the ‘wrong’ politicians?

Taking a fresh psychological approach to issues that are predominant in political science, this book casts new light on the human side of representative democracy.

"Countering the claim that we keep electing the wrong people to public office, this wonderfully innovative book, grounded in cutting-edge political psychology and a hugely impressive survey of MPs basic values, demonstrates that MPs actually have the personality characteristics the public want. This finding has important implications for the future of democracy." Jack Corbett, University of Southampton

"This is an excellent book that offers the best account to date of the psychology of UK political leaders and how this influences our politics and, ultimately, the society we live in." Peter Allen, University of Bath

“This book presents an ambitious, novel and impressively wide-ranging analysis of democratic representation. Focusing on the psychological aspects of those who occupy political office, Weinberg presents a unique analysis that moves our understanding of key questions about contemporary politics. Readers will undoubtedly be interested in this new direction in research on parliaments, and on politicians in particular, that the book opens up.” Lord Blunkett, University of Sheffield

James Weinberg is Lecturer in Political Behaviour at the University of Sheffield and has experience of designing, conducting and publishing award-winning academic research in the fields of political psychology and youth politics.

Why Do We Hate Politicians?

Psychological Scrutiny: Who Enters Politics and Why?

All the Same! Demographic Homogeneity and Careerism

Basic Values and Partisanship

Parliamentary Behaviour: Personal Choices, Political Results

Perfect Politicians? Voting Preferences in the United Kingdom