The Palgrave Handbook of Political Elites: Introduction

  • Heinrich Best
  • John Higley


The chapter introduces the Palgrave Handbook of Political Elites. It highlights the increasing importance of the handbook’s subject in general public and scholarly discourses, whereas since the mid-1970s, no comprehensive summary of the rapidly increasing literature on political elites had appeared. The introduction gives a definition of political elites, outlines the thematic orientation of studies of political elites during the past decades, and diagnoses a lack of a generally accepted theory or even typology for the field. The chapter concludes with a summary of the handbook’s structure.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinrich Best
    • 1
  • John Higley
    • 2
  1. 1.Friedrich-Schiller-UniversityJenaGermany
  2. 2.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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