Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office

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Cambridge University Press, Dec 26, 2011 - Political Science
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Becoming a Candidate: Political Ambition and the Decision to Run for Office explores the factors that drive political ambition at the earliest stages. Using data from a comprehensive survey of thousands of eligible candidates, Jennifer L. Lawless systematically investigates what compels certain citizens to pursue elective positions and others to recoil at the notion. Lawless assesses personal factors, such as race, gender and family dynamics, that affect an eligible candidate's likelihood of considering a run for office. She also focuses on eligible candidates' professional lives and attitudes toward the political system.
 

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Contents

The Theoretical
14
You Could Be President Someday Early Socialization
77
Professional Circumstances and
104
The Role of Professionally Conferred Political Proximity 1 14
114
A Side Note on the Gender Gap in Perceptions of Qualifications 1 21
121
Predicting Dynamic
129
You Think I Should Run for Office? Political Parties
135
Deciding to Run for Office
164
Future Patterns of Candidate Emergence and Studies
188
The Citizen Political Ambition Panel Study
201
The Second Wave Survey 2008
217
The First Wave Interview Questionnaire
229
Coding of Variables
239
Works Cited
251
Index
269
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About the author (2011)

Jennifer L. Lawless is an Associate Professor of Government at American University, where she is also the Director of the Women and Politics Institute. Her research focuses on political ambition, public opinion and women and politics. Her articles have appeared in the American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Political Research Quarterly, Legislative Studies Quarterly, The Journal of Politics and Women and Politics. She is the current editor of the journal Politics and Gender. She is also the co-author of It Still Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, 2010) and It Takes a Candidate: Why Women Don't Run for Office (Cambridge University Press, 2005) with Richard L. Fox. She is a recognized speaker on the subject of electoral politics, frequently discussing these issues on national and local television and radio. Her scholarly analysis and political commentary have been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, USA Today, The New Republic, the Chronicle of Higher Education and the Boston Globe, as well as on the Web sites of CNN, MSNBC and FOX News. In 2006, she sought the Democratic nomination for the US House of Representatives in Rhode Island's second congressional district.

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