The Underappreciated Loss of Political Office

Roberts, Jane (2019). The Underappreciated Loss of Political Office. Journal of Loss and Trauma: International Perspectives on Stress and Coping, 24(8) pp. 706–720.



The experience of politicians leaving elected office is under-researched (Keane, 2011). This paper examines the experience of leaving political office drawing on empirical research in the UK with 30 elected politicians, including 20 who had left office, either having been defeated in election or having chosen not to stand for election, and where possible their partners. The sample also included 10 interviews with current politicians about their expectations of transition from elected office. The paper considers the findings from a psychological and a sociological perspective and suggests features that predict a problematic adjustment to the loss of political office.

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