Oligarchs, Oligarchy, and Oligarchization

  • Shelly GottfriedEmail author


The purpose of this chapter is to identify and critically engage with the literature on wealth and power clusters in political economies. Reviewing historical and contemporary scholarships that have emerged over time when the questions about the concentration of resources, namely, money and power in the hands of a few, arose, this chapter expands the analysis of oligarchy, largely drawing on Jeffery Winters’ conceptual analysis (2011), with respect to four critical points: distinguishing oligarchs from oligarchy; assessing the origins of oligarchy and the mechanisms through which it establishes its power in a national political economy; the role of the state in the emergence and operation of an oligarchy; and the distinction between oligarchs and other wealthy players. These differences, and other points mentioned in the previous chapter would be presented in the following pages, put this book outside the scope of the individual theories and scholarship examined.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.City Political Economy Research Centre (CITYPERC)City, University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Beit Berl CollegeBeit BerlIsrael

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