To be or not to be a politician: profile and governmental career of Portuguese junior ministers

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This paper analyses the socio-political profile and the governmental career of the junior ministers who held office in Portugal between 1976 and 2011, putting the focus on the differentiation between individuals with and without prior political experience. Contrary to what is indicated in the literature, the results of this investigation reveal that most of these individuals are politically inexperienced and have a short and occasional governmental career. There are, however, important differences if we consider their political background, which confirms the relevance of the distinction between political and nonpolitical junior ministers.

Este artículo analiza el perfil sociopolítico y la carrera gubernamental de los secretarios de Estado que asumieron el cargo en Portugal entre 1976 y 2011, poniendo el foco en la diferenciación entre los individuos con y sin experiencia política previa. Contrariamente a lo que se indica en la literatura, los resultados de esta investigación revelan que la mayoría de estos individuos es políticamente inexperta y tiene carrera gubernamental breve y ocasional. Sin embargo, existen diferencias importantes si tenemos en cuenta los antecedentes políticos, lo que confirma la importancia de la distinción entre secretarios de Estado políticos y no políticos.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-38
Number of pages26
JournalRevista Espanola de Ciencia Politica
Issue number40
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Elites
  • Government
  • Governmental career
  • Junior ministers
  • Political elites
  • Political recruitment
  • Portuguese democracy

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