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Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender$
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Claire Annesley, Karen Beckwith, and Susan Franceschet

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190069018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190069018.001.0001

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How to Qualify for Cabinet: Experiential Criteria

How to Qualify for Cabinet: Experiential Criteria

(p.108) 5 How to Qualify for Cabinet: Experiential Criteria
Cabinets, Ministers, and Gender

Claire Annesley

Karen Beckwith

Susan Franceschet

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 focuses on experiential criteria as qualifications for inclusion in cabinet. The chapter shows that across all country cases, ministrables qualify by demonstrating their political experience and/or policy expertise, and in some cases, their educational background. There is no evidence that ministers in presidential systems are more likely to qualify through policy experience, or that ministers in parliamentary democracies are more likely to qualify through generalist political experience. The chapter shows that experiential criteria are strongly prescriptive rules, but they are non-specific and flexible rather than straightforward. The chapter concludes that experiential criteria are employed strategically by selectors to justify the choices of ministers and are post facto rationalizations. If all ministrables must meet some experiential criteria, additional qualifying criteria are necessary to determine the subset among them selected for cabinet.

Keywords:   cabinet, ministrable, ministerial background, ministerial qualification, experiential criteria, policy expertise, political experience, merit

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