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Elites, Classes, and Civil Society in the Transformation of State Socialism

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Lane, David

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Corporate Editor Institute of Sociology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Abstract The main explanatory variables used to analyze the transformation of state social ist societies are elite circulation and renewal. It is contended that, while the transformation may be elite-led, transformation should be analyzed as a revolutionary process promoted by, and favoring, class interests. It is hy pothesized that the transformation of the postcommunist countries has involved a process in which endogenous and exogenous class forces have played a major role. The absence of (economic) civil society under state socialism gave rise to a deficient ascendant capitalist class. Viewing capitalism as an international system, political elites acting in the international arena, through an alliance with exogenous elites, activated a move to markets and privatization. In the post-communist period, class in equality and tension have risen. The weakness of civil so ciety is a consequence of an undeveloped incumbent bourgeois class, which in turn limits the effectiveness of class rule. The rapid forms of imposed economic and political change, involving the dislocation of the social structure, have weakened the formation of an oppositional class consciousness. The inclusion of counter-elites into the political system (the “elite settlement”) ensuring a form of political management represses ideological opposition and further limits the rise of class consciousness.
Classification Macrosociology, Analysis of Whole Societies; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture
Collection Title Ukrainian Sociological Review 2006-2007
Editor Golovakha, Yevhen
Document language English
Publication Year 2009
City Kiev
Page/Pages p. 25-44
ISBN 978-966-02-5153-3
Status Published Version; reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications