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Transitions, transformations and the role of elites

Transitionen, Transformationen und die Rolle der Eliten
[journal article]

Best, Heinrich

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-310298

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Abstract "The vast majority of social scientists have failed to predict the breakdown of European communism in 1989 and the same mischief occurred to most of the economists with regard to the international crisis of capitalism in 2009. The contribution argues that this failure was due to 'linear thinking' of the observers involved and not to an inherent unpredictability of the phenomena in question. It is further suggested that we see here a fallacy of path-theory which ignores systematically the possibility of a trade-off between decreasing transaction costs of an established path and increasing opportunity costs of following the same path. Elites are the demiurges of change if the existing order threatens their status and they are the promoters of stability if a new order which is in their interest has been established." (author's abstract)
Keywords historical development; theory; prognosis; elite; political elite; elite research; Europe; Eastern Europe; transformation; historical social research; interest orientation; pressure-group politics; transaction costs; predictive model; political change; path dependence
Classification Political System, Constitution, Government; Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; General History
Method applied research; historical; theory application
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 9-12
Journal Historical Social Research, 35 (2010) 2
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Deposit Licence - No Redistribution, No Modifications
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