On the edges. A sociology of the secondary political actors in two small French towns

Dealing with politics. Novices, amateurs, and part-timers in politics
By Philippe Aldrin, Marie Vannetzel

On a day-to-day basis, local political activity does not only involve professional or semi-professional politicians. All of the practical dimensions of political activity, from the makeup of candidate lists to the daily exercise of municipal power, relies on the work of “secondary actors,” i.e., novices, amateurs, and part-timers, who perform various roles. They might be delegates of associations or organizations, intermediaries or representatives of social groups, or nonpartisan grassroots activists. Together, they make up the “edges” of local politics, which are the subject of this sociological discussion based on the case studies of two small French towns.

  • local politics
  • elected municipal officials
  • intermediaries
  • associations
  • small towns
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