A bad week for sociologists in prominent government positions?

Two stories from this week suggest it might not have been the best week for sociologists who are in prominent government jobs.

First, in Greece, George Papandreou resigned as Prime Minister. From earlier this week:

“Today I want to send a message of optismism to all Greeks. Our road, our path, will be more stabilised. Our country will be in a better situation. We will be stronger,” Mr Papandreou said in the televised address.

Philippos Petsalnikos, current speaker of the Athens parliament, has been widely tipped to replace Mr Papandreou as prime minister. Although Mr Papandreou did not name a successor, he added:

“I want to wish every success to the new PM and the new government. I will support this effort with all my strength.”…

Pressure has mounted on Greece’s two main political parties this afternoon to wrap up three days of critical power-sharing talks and name a new prime minister to take over at the helm of an interim government.

Papandreou has a sociology background.

Second, here is a fairly critical review of Ireland’s president-elect:

Michael Higgins, the President-Elect of Ireland, has lived a very comfortable life sucking on the government teat. He began his adult life as a sociologist in academia. He then moved into politics, and for decades enjoyed lucrative pay as a member of the political elite (well above $100,000 annually in recent years).

Now he’ll pull in more than $300,000 per year for a largely ceremonial job as Ireland’s President. As the old saying goes, nice work if you can get it. This guy’s definitely part of the top 1 percent.

He’s also an economic illiterate or a cynical hack who apparently thinks noble poverty is a good idea for the other 99 percent.

Here is a quick overview of Higgin’s academic background from Wikipedia:

Higgins holds a graduate degree in sociology. In his academic career, he was a Statutory Lecturer in the Department of Political Science and Sociology at University College Galway and was a Visiting Professor at Southern Illinois University. He resigned his academic posts to concentrate fully on his political career.

Perhaps Anthony Giddens can ride in and save the idea for prominent sociologists in higher levels of government?

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