By Mattei Dogan

This article makes a speciality of the interpenetration among a number of different types of elites: politicians, vendors of capital, company managers, better nation directors, administrators of public firms, controllers of media, army officials and the civic-cultural institution. ;

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Extra info for Elite Configurations at the Apex of Power (International Studies in Sociology and Social Anthropology)

Sample text

Raymond Forni, president of the National Assembly (1998-2002), is the son of an Italian worker; Edouard Balladur, former prime minister, is the grandson of an Armenian immigrant, and so is the minister Patrick Devedjian, Rene Monory, former president of the Senate, is the son of a garage keeper. Nicolas Sarkozy, minister of Finance and later minister of the Interior is the son of a Hungarian aristocrat who fled the Communist regime. C. Gaudin, Paul Bacon, Quillot, and many leaders of the Communist party.

Historically, in most Western countries, the electoral battle has been a fight against the traditional ruling class. In many countries, in spite of the logical contradiction between the ruling class and parliamentary representation, the two have coexisted for generations. In Britain, the traditional elites, called the establishment, already in decline, was still visible in 1950s. Since 1871 the electoral representation has progressively corroded the highest ranks of the State and of the society.

Few former teachers dismissed by the electorate have accepted (as they have the right to do as civil servants) the roundabout way back to school. Indeed, the prospect of returning to the original “cabin” leaves a lot of bitterness. When one is either too young to get a pension or too old for reconversion, one clings to a job in politics. Defeated deputies reappear as candidates at the following elections. Ex-deputies are still visible, long after their electoral defeat, at conventions of their party or on local councils.

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