Contemporary Western societies are witnessing ground-breaking social, economic and political changes at an accelerating pace. These changes are challenging the way democracy works and the role that political elites play in this system of government.
Using a theoretical and empirical approach, this volume argues that political elites are urged to develop new strategies in order to achieve interest aggregation, to safeguard collective action, and to maintain elite autonomy and stability. The adaptive capacities of political elites are assessed through case studies, comparative and longitudinal analyses of their social structure, their recruitment patterns, and their attitudes. The book includes contributions from reputable scholars in the field of elite research and specialists on individual political systems across Europe and the US. It provides an analytical framework demonstrating that political elites are inevitable and potentially able to respond successfully to varying challenges.
The book will be of key interest to scholars and students of political elites, democracy, comparative politics, political participation and European Politics.
Table of Contents
1. Contested Status: Contemporary Challenges to Political Elites and Elite Responses [Lars Vogel, Ronald Gebauer, and Axel Salheiser] PART I: Elite Autonomy and Security in Modern Democracies 2. Elite Autonomy and Post-Industrial Problems of Employment [John Higley] 3. On the (Lack of) Autonomy of Political Elites as Representatives [Jean-Pascal Daloz] 4. Economic Elites – Political Elites: Scenes from a Symbiosis [Heinrich Best] 5. European Citizens and Elites in Times of Economic Crisis and Citizen Unrest [Ursula Hoffmann-Lange and Mindaugas Kuklys] Part II: (Changing) Elite Structure 6. Degradable Elites? Modes and Factors of Parliamentary Turnover in Europe in the Early 21st Century [Luca Verzichelli] 7. When Political Elites Select Political Elites: Insights into Accumulation of Autonomous Political Capital [Daniel Gaxie] 8. Careers of Long-Standing Legislators and Making of the Parliamentary Elite: Evidence from 25 Baltic Parliaments [Mindaugas Kuklys] 9. Recruitment of Technocrats in Romanian Cabinets [Laurenţiu Ştefan] 10. Farewell to the Party Elites? Politically Inexperienced Ministers in Central and Eastern European Cabinets [Elena Semenova] Part III: (Changing) Elite Attitudes and Behavior 11. Irresponsible Elites in Opposition and Government: The Hungarian Case [Gabriella Ilonszki and György Lengvel] 12. Theorists of their Own Practice: Democracy as Seen by Weimar Politicians [Jens Borchert] 13. Immigration and its Consequences for European Integration: A Multi-Level Analysis of European National Representatives’ Perceptions [Ronald Gebauer and Lars Vogel]
Lars Vogel is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Department of Political Science, Leipzig University, Germany.
Ronald Gebauer is Acting Professor of Methods of Empirical Social Research at the University of Applied Sciences Zittau/Görlitz, Germany.
Axel Salheiser is Research Fellow at KomRex – Center for Research on Right-Wing Extremism, Civic Education and Social Integration at Friedrich Schiller University Jena, Germany.