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Elites in Transition

  • Couverture cartonnée
  • 250 Nombre de pages
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"Who rules in Eastern Europe?" became a fundamental question for western researchers and other observers after communist... Lire la suite
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Description

"Who rules in Eastern Europe?" became a fundamental question for western researchers and other observers after communist regimes were established in the region, and it gained further importance as state socialism expanded into Central Europe after the Second World War. A political order which, according to Leninist theory of the state and to subsequent Stalinist political practice, was primarily a highly centralised and repressive power organisation, directed, as if it were natural, researchers attention towards the highest echelon of office holders in party and state. Extreme centralisation of power in these regimes was consequently linked to an elitist approach to analysing them from a distant viewpoint. It is one of the many paradoxes of state socialism, that a social and political order which presumptuously claimed to be the final destination of historical development and to be based on deterministic laws of social evolution, which claimed an egalitarian nature and denied the significance of the individual, was per ceived through the idiosyncrasies, rivalries and personal traits of its rulers. The largest part of these societies remained in grey obscurity, onlyoccasion ally revealing bits of valid information about a social life distant from the centres of power. It is debatable whether this top-headedness of western re search into communist societies created a completely distorted picture of re ality, however, it certainly contributed to an overestimation of the stability of these regimes, an underestimation of their factual diversity and a misjudge ment of the extent of conflicts and cleavages dividing them.

Auteur
Prof. Dr. Heinrich Best is professor of sociology at Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, Germany, where he holds the Chair of Social Science Research Methods/ Structural Analysis of Modern Societies.

Texte du rabat

"Who rules in Eastern Europe?" became a fundamental question for western researchers and other observers after communist regimes were established in the region, and it gained further importance as state socialism expanded into Central Europe after the Second World War. A political order which, according to Leninist theory of the state and to subsequent Stalinist political practice, was primarily a highly centralised and repressive power organisation, directed, as if it were natural, researchers attention towards the highest echelon of office holders in party and state. Extreme centralisation of power in these regimes was consequently linked to an elitist approach to analysing them from a distant viewpoint. It is one of the many paradoxes of state socialism, that a social and political order which presumptuously claimed to be the final destination of historical development and to be based on deterministic laws of social evolution, which claimed an egalitarian nature and denied the significance of the individual, was per­ ceived through the idiosyncrasies, rivalries and personal traits of its rulers. The largest part of these societies remained in grey obscurity, onlyoccasion­ ally revealing bits of valid information about a social life distant from the centres of power. It is debatable whether this top-headedness of western re­ search into communist societies created a completely distorted picture of re­ ality, however, it certainly contributed to an overestimation of the stability of these regimes, an underestimation of their factual diversity and a misjudge­ ment of the extent of conflicts and cleavages dividing them.



Contenu
Elite research in Poland: 19891995.- Elite research in Hungary: 19851994.- Elite research in the Czech Republic: A report on major research projects.- Elite research in the Slovak Republic.- Research on economic and political elites in Bulgaria in the period 19901995.- Elite research in Russia: Characteristics of Russian elite research.- The elite and the power in Russia: Historical dynamics of relations.- The Baltic elites after the change of the regime.- Elite research in Ukraine.- Political and economic elites in the transformation process in eastern Germany.- Appendix: List of authors.

Informations sur le produit

Titre: Elites in Transition
Autre:
Éditeur:
Code EAN: 9783810018441
ISBN: 978-3-8100-1844-1
Format: Couverture cartonnée
Editeur: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
Genre: Sciences sociales en général
nombre de pages: 250
Poids: 367g
Taille: H210mm x B210mm x T148mm
Année: 1997
Auflage: 1997