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    The recruitment and selection of candidate (municipal) councillors by political parties at the local level is an underexposed area of research. This is noteworthy because of the explicit worries about the lack of suitable candidates and about the underrepresentation of certain groups in society. These kinds of nomination problems may also arise from the manner in which parties recruit and which requirements they have for potential candidates. Therefore this article explores recruitment and selection processes at the local level in order to be able to designate possible causes of these nomination problems. The exploratory research involves case studies of the selectors, candidates and the nomination procedure of seven political parties that took part in the municipal elections of 2014 in a typical, average Dutch municipality in the west of the Netherlands: Voorschoten (25,000 inhabitants). The local party elite mainly recruited party members and some non-party members from their own networks, such as local associations. Thus groups in society that are not part of these networks, are less likely to appear in the picture. Active party membership and the willingness to invest a lot of time in their council work appeared to be the highest appreciated characteristics of the ideal councillor according to interviews with the local party elite and a survey amongst the candidate councillors. With a declining number of party members and other ways to spend their time, it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit non-pensioners as candidates.


Maurits Grimberg MSc
M.R. Grimberg MSc is als militair werkzaam bij de Kernstaf van het Commando Luchtstrijdkrachten, binnen de sectie Coördinatie en Investeringsplannen. In april 2014 studeerde hij af aan de Universiteit Leiden in de Politieke Wetenschap bij Hans Vollaard op een masterthesis over de totstandkoming van een kandidatenlijst in de gemeente Voorschoten.

Dr. Hans Vollaard
Dr. J.P. Vollaard is universitair docent Nederlandse en Europese politiek binnen het Instituut Politieke Wetenschap van de Universiteit Leiden.
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