Insiders and Outsiders

Socialist deputies' networks in Saône--et-Loire in the Inter-War Period (1918-1940)
By Bruno Dumons

For some years now, the social history of the parliamentary deputies of the Third Republic has given way to a series of research studies that show how the "political vocation" became a professional one. In this process, we can observe the use of networks as power tools and political resources. The left parties and in particular the socialists played a very important part in the historical process that led to a more open recruitment process, hence to more democracy among the political élites. The existence of the networks allowed a wide mobilization. Since the 1930s, the sociology of the socialist SFIO party was characterized by a high percentage of civil servants among its members, most notably teachers and postmen. Here, the department of Saône-et-Loire stands as an excellent standpoint from which to examine the characteristics of these new political élites of which the socialist parliamentary deputies between the two wars are a perfect example. After the analysis of the networks of recruiting, especially the professional ones, of the Saône-et-Loire deputies, as well their different entrances into politics and their careers, my purpose is to explore the networks and the routes of those elected, hence highlighting a process of "notabilisation".

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