Training Local Elected Officials: Professionalization Amid Tensions Between

  • Anne Mevellec School of political studies 120 Université Ottawa (ON) K1N 6N5
  • Félix Grenier School of political studies 120 Université Ottawa (ON) K1N 6N5
Keywords: municipal politics, local elected officials, professional training, professionalization, local democracy, Canada

Abstract

Over the last few decades, several administrations in Canada have organized programs for training local elected officials (LEOs). While improving LEOs’ competences is beneficial, this trend is developing amidst a persisting tension between democratic and technocratic approaches to governance. Indeed, training - and the professionalization it entails - disrupts the enduring principle holding that everyone is equally authorized to govern following the democratic election. Despite the significance of these transformations, training activities for LEOs have received limited scholarly attention until now. In this paper, we detail our conceptualization of the professionalization process and the role of training programs within it. We then review the existing Canadian training programs for LEOs. We also examine one case study: the main introductory training program for LEOs in Québec (Canada) since 2011. Accordingly, we advance our understanding of training’s effects on elected officials by emphasizing how they contribute to a long-term process of professionalization.

Author Biographies

Anne Mevellec, School of political studies 120 Université Ottawa (ON) K1N 6N5
Associate Professor
Félix Grenier, School of political studies 120 Université Ottawa (ON) K1N 6N5
Ph.D. Candidate

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Published
2016-01-02
Section
Articles