Theoretical Interpretations of Elite Change in East Central Europe Cover Image

Az elitváltás elméleti értelmezései. Kelet-közép-európai megközelítések
Theoretical Interpretations of Elite Change in East Central Europe

Author(s): András Bozóki
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: MTA Politikai Tudományi Intézete

Summary/Abstract: Elite theory enjoyed a remarkable revival in East Central Europe. Many researchers coming from different schools of thought – Marxist class analysis,Weberian sociology, functionalist social stratification research, New Class theory, and the like – turned to the analysis of rapid political and social changes and ended up doing elite centered research. One of the most important characteristics of contemporary elite research is the focus on elite transformation because nowadays elite research is primarily about change. The study investigates some major paradigms in elite theory (Daniel Bell, Kevin Phillips, Alvin Gouldner, Konrád and Szelényi, Irvin Kristol) and discusses contemporary general statements in detail (Burton and Higley, Iván Szelényi, Higley and Lengyel, Higley and Pakulski). Finally, it offers a wide overview on recent explanations which proved to be relevant in understanding elite change in East Central Europe. Those theories include the ideas of 1. ’Grand Coalition’ (Elemér Hankiss), 2. political capitalism (Jadwiga Staniszkis), 3. elite network state (Anton Steen), 4. technocratic continuity (Erzsébet Szalai), 5. institution-building elites (Kaminski and Kurczewska), and finally 6.the proposition of ’three elites’ (Jacek Wasilewski). It predicts that, as reflection to the caracteristics of the period of democratic consolidation, comprehensive elite research will combine formal, positional analysis and informal, elite network approach as well.

  • Issue Year: 2003
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 5-40
  • Page Count: 36
  • Language: Hungarian