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As far as nation building is concerned, there are substantial differences between the Western and Eastern patterns. In the West nationalism generally developed only after the strong states had been formed, as a consequence of conscious efforts by the central power. In the Eastern European latecomer states in contrast, the process was reversed: ethnic similarities led to national consciousness prior to the formation or re-establishment of a state. Although Finland followed the latter pattern, it approximated the Eastern pattern mainly in terms of the political dependence, but that of Western Europe, especially Scandinavia, as far as the class structure is concerned. This mixture explains the steady advance of national consolidation and nationalism in Finland (Alapuro, 1988, pp. 88–90).
The fruitful development of the theory of elites within the framework of democratic societies, naturally presupposes ample empirical work, allowing broad descriptions of…
The fruitful development of the theory of elites within the framework of democratic societies, naturally presupposes ample empirical work, allowing broad descriptions of elite structure. Unfortunately, representative data on modern social elites are still relatively scarce. The most ambitious attempt to cover elite formation in Europe is restricted to the political sphere, a large longitudinal data set on parliamentary elites, covering members of parliament in 12 European countries over a period of 150 years (Best & Cotta, 2000). On a more ad hoc basis data sets covering broader sections of European national elites have been collected in Germany, the Nordic countries, and Eastern Europe. These data sets are utilized in several of the articles in the present volume.
Around 2006, dissensus became predominant in the Hungarian elite concerning internal affairs. Regarding evaluations of the European integration, however, there were no…
Around 2006, dissensus became predominant in the Hungarian elite concerning internal affairs. Regarding evaluations of the European integration, however, there were no considerable differences between elite groups at that time. The Hungarian political elite supported the integration process and trusted in EU institutions. The present chapter addresses the issue to what extent the elite attitudes regarding European integration prevailed following the economic crisis of 2008. After a brief overview of the Hungarian context, the authors discuss political elites’ (national MPs’) trust in supranational institutions in 2007 and 2014 in the European countries. Our analyses find that the Hungarian political elite became one of the most sceptical elites towards the EU.
Next, the supranational trust of political elite and other (economic, administrative and media) elite groups within Hungary is compared. Results reveal that among Hungarian elite segments there is a hidden tension: political elites are critical towards the EU, while economic and media elites are not.
Finally, turning to the international stage again, the elite–population opinion gap is investigated. It is usually the case that elites are more pro-European than the public. Recently, however, in some respects the Hungarian political elite has shown less trust in EU institutions than the population.
The paper argues that the form, structure and ideologies of elites are embedded in particular forms of capitalism. Whilst elites in these different societies are engaged…
The paper argues that the form, structure and ideologies of elites are embedded in particular forms of capitalism. Whilst elites in these different societies are engaged in a common task of ensuring that their position is sustained and protected in the light of economic and political uncertainties, the way in which they are able to do this is shaped by the particular forms of legitimation, coordination and cohesion that are embedded in particular institutional trajectories, path dependencies and complementarities. However, the paper emphasizes that these institutional structures are dependent on particular international economic orders and when these change either over the short or the long term, elites often find themselves struggling to maintain their position without significant changes. The paper examines firstly how the long-term change from Keynesianism to neo-liberalism in the international economic order led to changes in the terrain on which elites in different countries formed and exercised power and secondly how the immediate and drastic short-term changes in the global economy arising from the financial crisis has impacted on elites.
In this study, we aim to understand how the relationship between state and business elites and underlying power dynamics develop in the face of neoliberalism and…
In this study, we aim to understand how the relationship between state and business elites and underlying power dynamics develop in the face of neoliberalism and globalization in a state-dependent context. For this purpose, we draw on a qualitative research with in-depth interviews with elites from 65 companies which are ranked among the 500 largest Turkish firms by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry. Major contribution of this work is that we illustrate how globalization or internationalization provides a limited tool for business elites to escape the domination of the state in a state-dependent context. The only exceptions to this rule of state domination among business elites are the elites who hold double citizenships and whose initial investment background is in a foreign country. This exceptional group of elites enjoyed higher latitude of action in their interactions with the state. For the rest, state remains as an influential mechanism of coercive power to which elites are subjected. Last but not least, in spite of the connections between business growth and the state, the business elites are generally distrustful of politics and politicians and this mistrust is manifested in different ways. Overall, we illustrate the significance of the historical context and turning points in accounting for the changing nature of the relationship between elites and the state in Turkey.
History teaches that agreement about the distribution of valued things is seldom deep or widespread in large populations. When distributive issues rise to clear public…
History teaches that agreement about the distribution of valued things is seldom deep or widespread in large populations. When distributive issues rise to clear public consciousness, the tendency is towards civil strife. Stable democratic institutions are rarely the result of all or even most social actors cooperating voluntarily, peacefully and with adequate information; nearly always, they are the products of shrewd decisions made by those who are seriously influential – elites. Elites must trust each other to manage politics in ways that prevent distributive issues from reaching acute degrees that impel power seizures. But can elite trust be sustained in advanced post-industrial conditions? The question arises because of steadily declining needs for many kinds of work, exacerbated by large migrations from non-Western countries and a resulting insecurity that populists exploit divisively for political gain. They act as pied pipers offering delusive enticements, making irresponsible promises and exhibiting disdain for rule of law. Disinclined to deal realistically with, or even acknowledge, long-term post-industrial problems of work, populists erode elite trust and weaken the basis of stable democratic institutions.
This paper focuses on the strategic role of elites in managing institutional and organizational change within English public services, framed by the wider ideological and…
This paper focuses on the strategic role of elites in managing institutional and organizational change within English public services, framed by the wider ideological and political context of neo-liberalism and its pervasive impact on the social and economic order over recent decades. It also highlights the unintended consequences of this elite-driven programme of institutional reform as realized in the emergence of hybridized regimes of ‘polyarchic governance’ and the innovative discursive and organizational technologies on which they depend. Within the latter, ‘leaderism’ is identified as a hegemonic ‘discursive imaginary’ that has the potential to connect selected marketization and market control elements of new public management (NPM), network governance, and visionary and shared leadership practices that ‘make the hybrid happen’ in public services reform.
The descriptions of economic policy reforms and performance in the Baltic States and Russia are based on adapted statistical material collected by the World Bank and the…
The descriptions of economic policy reforms and performance in the Baltic States and Russia are based on adapted statistical material collected by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
This paper aims to present a critical interpretation of unfolding events related to corporate and policymaking elites during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis to…
This paper aims to present a critical interpretation of unfolding events related to corporate and policymaking elites during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic crisis to serve as a point of contrast to mainstream views.
Drawing upon literature on elite maintenance and power, learning from recent previous crises and emerging evidence during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis, this study develops arguments to question and problematize the exercise of power by elites toward maintenance of existing systems across the pandemic.
Critical examination points attention to three related but analytically distinct strategies in the exercise of elite power: reinforcing myths, redirecting blame and reclaiming positions, all directed to maintain the system and preserve power. The potential effects of this ongoing elite maintenance are highlighted, revealing the old and new forms of power likely to emerge at the corporate, national and global levels across the pandemic crisis and endure beyond it.
It is hoped that the critical examination here may build more awareness about the deep and complex nature of elite power and systems across the globe that preclude meaningful system change to address societal challenges. It may thereby provide more informed engagement toward system change.
The main originality of the paper lies in its attempt to tie together the various types of elite maintenance works and their potential effects into an overarching narrative. Making these connections and interpreting them from a critical perspective provides a rare large-canvas picture of elite power and system maintenance, particularly across a global crisis.