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The Weberian foundations of modern elite theory and democratic elitism

The Weberian foundations of modern elite theory and democratic elitism
[journal article]

Pakulski, Jan

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Abstract "Max Weber's portrayal of modern elftes shows clear proximity to 'classical elite theory,' modern 'elite perspective,' and 'democratic elitism.' This portrayal - stressing power concentration in the state apparata, legitimacy of rule, centrality of leadership groups, and the capacity of these groups to form cohesive power actors - anticipates many central themes in the work of contemporary elite theorists, such as John Higley, whose theoretical attention focuses on patterns of elite integration and ruling consensus as the key 'elite variables.' Higley's seminal studier, especially those linking such elite integration and ruling consensus with political outcomes and regime types, combine the classical elite-theoretical heritage with the Weberian 'supplements,' the latter stressing the variable internal structure of 'ruling minorities' that form in modern nation states. The Weberian elite perspective and theoretical model have been substantiated, elaborated and extended in research undertaken by John Higley and his collaborators." (author's abstract)
Keywords elite; elite research; elite formation; democracy; Weber, M.; basic research; theory; political power; political theory; Pareto, V.; power; sociology; bureaucracy; hierarchy; aristocracy; historical development; political elite; dynamism; modernity
Classification Political Process, Elections, Political Sociology, Political Culture; General Sociology, Basic Research, General Concepts and History of Sociology, Sociological Theories
Method basic research; theory formation
Document language English
Publication Year 2012
Page/Pages p. 38-56
Journal Historical Social Research, 37 (2012) 1
Issue topic Elite foundations of social theory and politics / Elitetheoretische Grundlagen sozialwissenschaftlicher Theoriebildung und politischer Analyse
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Published Version; peer reviewed
Licence Creative Commons - Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works