When I studied mass communication in Paris in the 1980s, the philosophy teacher told me that he would rather hire a person with a thick pile of business cards than one with a thick pile of university diplomas. He himself had nine different master's degrees and taught as a part-time teacher at various more or less good private schools in the Paris region. My old teacher must have liked Clément Fayol's new book Ces français du service de l'étranger ("Frenchmen in Foreign Service"). Although Fayol says that at ministerial and bureau level it is important that you have attended the right schools (ENA, HEC Paris, Sciences Po Paris…), it is your network of contacts that shows who you are and that gives you jobs and perks. . Fayol shows that the French political power elite often takes jobs that lobbyistis for the private business sector after losing an election or retiring early. As employees of PR and communications agencyare ex-politicians trying to influence their former colleagues, people in their own networks.
In Norway, Kristian Rindheim has shown that as many as one in four Storting politicians transfer to the communications industry after graduation. . .