GersterPolitik als Beruf

Politicians differ from other elite professional groups in significant ways: they receive a (below) average salary, their work is extremely time-consuming, they remain in the public eye constantly, which can be highly problematic, and many surveys confirm that their social standing has diminished considerably. Based on partially guided interviews, this dissertation endeavours to document and explain why the individuals interviewed chose politics as their profession.
Those interviewees reveal that they developed and honed their leadership skills among their peer group at a young age. They portray their commitment to politics by becoming a member of a party as an act of political conviction rather than a calculated means of furthering their careers. They disclose how the opportunity to be in the public eye that the political stage affords them played a decisive role in them opting to enter the profession of politics, and that the fundamental prerequisite for them wanting to work in politics is their conviction that political action is effective.
Although the interviewees confirm the general belief that politicians need to desire power, the way they describe their reasons for deciding to work in politics reveals that achievement is more important to them. However, the incentive of gaining power is a key driving force behind their choice of profession, without which the unique features of this occupation can-not be explained. In essence, power is leadership, while achievement can be realised without direct interaction.