Elites after State Socialism: Theories and Analysis

By Harasymiw, Bohdan | Canadian Slavonic Papers, December 2000 | Go to article overview

Elites after State Socialism: Theories and Analysis


Harasymiw, Bohdan, Canadian Slavonic Papers


John Higley and Gyorgy Lengyel, eds. Elites after State Socialism: Theories and Analysis. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000. ix, 252 pp. Index. $64.00, cloth; $24.95, paper.

Here is a book that actually lives up to its billing. The editors claim that it is "a substantial advance in the literature on postsocialist politics and societies and in the comparative study of elites" (p. ix). It is exactly that.

A product of three years' collaboration by its nineteen contributors, the volume deals with most of the Eastern European countries (excepting Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, Romania, and Slovenia) and Russia. Each country gets an individual chapter; Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland together get an additional comparative chapter. Every contribution reports original research and thinking on the theme of continuity and change among elites in the first postsocialist decade. The approaches are varied and challenging; there is a healthy, thought-provoking degree of dissent among the contributors who are not afraid to disagree even with the editors. There are differing assessments of the persistence of the nomenklatura, as well as different views of the circulation versus reproduction of elites and most basically of the primacy of elites versus social classes as engines of change. Indeed, the central concept of "circulation" is itself not adequately elaborated or operationalized anywhere in this volume: we are not sure if it refers to individuals, categories of people, or entire social strata. But that would take a whole other book to do. All in all, this book is a welcome and major advance in the study of elites which should stimulate following up and replication.

In an introductory chapter, the editors develop a model of the configuration of elites and their corresponding political regimes. Thus a consensual elite is found in a consolidated democracy, a fragmented elite in an unconsolidated democracy, an ideocratic one in a totalitarian or post-totalitarian regime, and a divided elite is characteristic of the authoritarian or sultanistic regime. Similarly, the mode of change of the elite corresponds to the character of the regime and its elite: circulation, reproduction, replacement, and quasi-replacement, respectively. The key question, not explicitly formulated in this introduction, is whether the ideocratic or divided elites of these formerly totalitarian, authoritarian, and post-totalitarian regimes will become consensual or, failing that, fragmented, and whether the pattern of elite change is circulation or something else associated with other than consolidated democracy. This framework provides an orientation for the reader to what follows. Mercifully, the other contributors do not feel bound to it, which relieves the book of potential uniformity and hence tedium.

The contributions are organized into two parts, one dealing with the political elites, the other with the economic elites. In general, based on studies of representative samples of elites, the researchers' findings conform to the editors' model with a much more thorough circulation in countries closer to democratic consolidation and a reproduction of elites in others. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Elites after State Socialism: Theories and Analysis
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.