The Distant Politician?

  • Xavier Coller
  • Antonio M. Jaime-Castillo
  • Fabiola Mota


This chapter summarizes the main findings of the book. Four gaps between citizens and representatives are identified throughout the book. Firstly, the social extraction of MPs over-represents groups of high socio-economic status, which is in line with previous comparative research. Secondly, MPs tend to appear more leftist than their voters for every party. Thirdly, MPs are also more nationalist than voters. Finally, MPs and citizens have different views about representation. While MPs tend to believe that they represent society as a whole, citizens believe that MPs represent their parties. The chapter also provides information about how MPs perceive political disaffection, the path they follow to get into parliament, the functioning of parliaments and the attitudes of MPs toward multilevel government.


Gaps between MPs and citizens Political disaffection Parliamentary activity Multilevel government 


  1. Anderson, C. J., & Tverdova, Y. V. (2003). Corruption, Political Allegiances, and Attitudes Toward Government in Contemporary Democracies. American Journal of Political Science, 47(1), 91–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Best, H., & Cotta, M. (2000). Elite Transformation and Modes of Representation Since the Mid-Nineteenth Century: Some Theoretical Considerations. In H. Best & M. Cotta (Eds.), Parliamentary Representatives in Europe 1848–2000. Legislative Recruitments and Careers in Eleven European Countries (pp. 1–28). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas (CIS) (2015). Barómetro de mayo, Estudio 3082. Madrid: CIS.Google Scholar
  4. Coller, X. (2004). Los políticos valencianos en el contexto español. Revista Valenciana d’Estudis Autonòmics, 41–42, 96–145.Google Scholar
  5. Coller, X. (2008). El sesgo social de las elites políticas. El caso de la España de las autonomías (1980–2005). Revista de Estudios Políticos, 151, 13–59.Google Scholar
  6. Coller, X., Navarro, M., & Portillo, M. (2016). Mitos y realidades de las elites políticas. In M. Barreda & L. M. Ruiz (Eds.), El análisis de la política. Enfoques y herramientas de la ciencia política (pp. 419–438). Barcelona: Huygens.Google Scholar
  7. Coller, X., Santana, A., & Jaime, A. (2014). Problemas y soluciones para la construcción de bases de datos de políticos. Revista Española de Ciencia Política y de la Administración, 34, 169–198.Google Scholar
  8. Cordero, G., & Coller, X. (2015). Candidate Selection and Party Discipline. Parliamentary Affairs, 68(3), 592–615.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Erk, J., & Anderson, L. M. (Eds.). (2010). The Paradox of Federalism. Londres: Routledge.Google Scholar
  10. Fenno, R. F. (1978). Home Style: House Members in Their Districts. Boston: Little, Brown and Company.Google Scholar
  11. Goldthorpe, J. H., & Erikson, R. (1993). The Constant Flux: A Study of Class Mobility in Industrial Societies. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  12. Hall, P., & Taylor, R. C. (1996). Political Science and the Three New Institutionalisms. Political Studies, 44, 936–957.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kirchheimer, O. (1966). The Transformation of the Western European Party Systems. In J. LaPalombara & M. Weiner (Eds.), Political Parties and Political Development. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Linz, J. J. (1989). Spanish Democracy and the Estado de las Autonomías. In R. A. Goldwin (Ed.), Forging Unity Out of Diversity (pp. 260–303). Washington: American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research.Google Scholar
  15. López Nieto, L. (Ed.). (2004). Entre el deseo y la realidad. ¿Políticos profesionales o vocacionales? Opiniones de los ex parlamentarios españoles. Madrid: UNED.Google Scholar
  16. Maravall, J. M. (2016). Demands on Democracy. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. March, J., & Olsen, J. (1989). Rediscovering Institutions: The Organizational Basis of Politics. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  18. Matthews, D. R. (1985). Legislative Recruitment and Legislative Careers. In G. Loewnberg, S. C. Patterson, & M. E. Jewell (Eds.), Handbook of Legislative Research (pp. 17–55). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  19. Michels, R. (1962 [1911]). Political Parties. A Sociological Study of the Oligarchical Tendencies of Modern Democracies, New York: The Free Press.Google Scholar
  20. Montero, J. R. (1994). Religiosidad, ideología y voto en España. Revista de Estudios Políticos, 83, 77–111.Google Scholar
  21. Montero, J. R., Calvo, K & Martínez, Á. (2008). El voto religioso en España y Portugal. Revista Internacional de Sociología, 66(51), 19–54.Google Scholar
  22. Morata, F. (2010). Decentralization and the Spanish Territorial State. In R. Scully & R. Wyn-Jones (Eds.), Europe, Regions and European Regionalism (pp. 134–154). New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Newton, K. (2006). Trust and Politics. In D. Castiglioni (Ed.), Handbook of Social Capital (pp. 241–273). Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Norris, P., & Lovenduski, J. (1995). Political Recruitment. In Gender, Race and Class in the British Parliament. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Pitkin, H. (1984 [1967]). The Concept of Representation. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  26. Putnam, R. (1976). The Comparative Study of Political Élites. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  27. Rehfeld, A. (2009). Representation Rethought: On Trustees, Delegates, and Gyroscopes in the Study of Political Representation and Democracy. American Political Science Review, 103(2), 214–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sánchez de Dios, M. (1996). La disciplina de partido en los grupos parlamentarios del Congreso de los Diputados. Revista de las Cortes Generales, 39, 183–210.Google Scholar
  29. Torcal, M. (2014). The Decline of Political Trust in Spain and Portugal: Economic Performance or Political Responsiveness? American Behavioral Scientist, 58(12), 1542–1567.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Torcal, M., & Mota, F. (2014). The Role of Political Parties in Shaping Citizens’ Political Preferences for the Territorial Organization of the State: The Spanish Case. European Political Science Review, 6(3), 477–502.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Weber, M. (1946). Politics as a Vocation. In H. H. Gerth & C. W. Mills (Eds.), From Max Weber: Essays in Sociology (pp. 77–128). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  32. Zweigenhaft, R. L., & Domhoff, G. W. (2006). Diversity in the Power Elite: How It Happened, Why It Matters. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xavier Coller
    • 1
  • Antonio M. Jaime-Castillo
    • 2
  • Fabiola Mota
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of SociologyPablo de Olavide UniversitySevillaSpain
  2. 2.Faculty of Economics and BusinessUniversidad de MálagaMálagaSpain
  3. 3.Department of Political Science and IRUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

Personalised recommendations