The Emergence of a New Elite Harbinger of the Future or Vestige of the Past?
The political elite consists of people directly engaged in politics, as opposed to other elite groups that may affect the political process (such as the economic elite, the entrepreneurial elite, the artistic elite, and the sports elite). Broadly defined, the political elite, in addition to the officials in legislative/executive branches and the leaders of the various political parties/movements, includes the most prominent figures in mass media, top-ranking military personnel, and so forth.
The federal elite level consists of elites affiliated with the top level of the hierarchy, that is, the central authorities and those with political (ideological) control. This excludes local elite (at the municipal, regional, or republican level). Another group, which we call "Politicians 1994," consists of the latter-day elite who emerged after the October assault on the White House. These are the elite who have been in power since 1994.
Using an extensive arsenal of techniques, the Vox Populi Polling Service (VP) has been researching the top echelon of Russia's political elite over the course of many years, accumulating a significant amount of data. In 1991, Vox Populi conducted monthly opinion polls for the Ogonek magazine on the nation's leaders. These polls, based on a list of prominent political figures, determined the "Man of the Month" (the most visible political figure for the past month). This index was used over the course of about one year to gauge the popularity of the Soviet Unions leading politicians. In 1992, following the collapse of the Soviet Union, these monthly polls were modified, this time at the request of the newspaper Nezavisimaia Gazeta. Using direct and open