CIPR | Center For Inter-American Policy & Research

Tulane University

Dr. Manuel Alcántara: Politicians

April 25th, 2013
5:00pm

Location
Greenleaf Conference Room

Please join us for a lecture by Dr. Manuel Alcántara, Professor of Political Science at the University of Salamanca and former Distiguished Richard E. Greenleaf Visiting Professor Chair of Latin American Studies at Tulane University. Dr. Alcántara will be presenting his latest book, El Oficio de Político. A reception will follow.

Politics has always implied a set of individuals devoted to its practice. These individuals have practiced a trade whose nature and “rules of the game” have evolved to reflect a changing society. Today politicians must reconcile an uneasy tension between the logic of democratic representation, with its elections and accountability mechanisms, and the drivers of personal action, like ambition, vocation, vanity, altruism, and self-interest. While not mutually contradictory these juxtapositions generate the kinds of ambiguities that are common to the exercise of power. Those who devote themselves to politics enter its realm not solely thanks to elections. While these are the source of legitimacy par excellence, they do not cover all the nooks and crannies that engage a politician’s trade. In fact, elected officials are a minority in the universe of politics.

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