CE41 - Les sociétés contemporaines : états, dynamiques et transformations

Elected representatives and health. A contribution to the analysis of political work – ELUSAN

Submission summary

Social sciences of work and politics have poorly documented the relationship between health and political activity. However, research focusing on elected representatives suggests that there is a need to study this subject. On the one hand, the literature emphasises the intensity of political work, on the other hand, it reminds us that dedication is a central component of the political ethos. This tension, which is structurally inscribed in political activity, invites us to consider the health of elected representatives as an object of research. To do so, we hypothesise that tensions between, on the one hand, multiple forms of testing and wear and tear resulting of the requirements of the function, which can potentially degrade health, and, on the other hand, injunctions to dedication and norms of conduct requiring good health, affect the exercise of political mandate(s). The ELUSAN project, which focuses on professional elected officials (national and local), will contribute to enriching and renewing knowledge of the political profession, by combining contributions from the sociology of work and political science. The objective is to answer four linked questions: What are the salient features of the working conditions of elected representatives? How do tacit professional norms on health circulate in the political field? How has the institutional protection of elected officials' health been differentiated and unequal? How is health inscribed in work experiences and political careers? Finally, the ELUSAN project seeks to make a double break. A break with ordinary but also indigenous discourses that tend to deny any physical or psychological weaknesses to elected representatives and a break with academic approaches to politics that do not consider health as a significant component of political activities.

Project coordination

Didier Demazière (Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques / Centre de Sociologie des Organisations)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


ARENES Université Rennes 2
IRISSO Université Paris Dauphine
CERAPS Université de Lille
FNSP / CSO Fondation Nationale des Sciences Politiques / Centre de Sociologie des Organisations

Help of the ANR 386,006 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2022 - 36 Months

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