Elite Attributes and Resources

  • Jean-Pascal Daloz
  • Ursula Hoffmann-Lange


Most of the personal attributes of elites such as personality, motivation, values, political attitudes, and professional expertise are acquired in a long process of personal and political socialization. Moreover, the opportunities for advancement into elite positions are rooted in the relatively stable social and political structures of a society. The resources of elite power and influence, rather than being personal assets, are mostly tied to the elite position. While individual attributes determine how elites use these positional resources, elite behavior is shaped by institutional constraints and the expectations of their selectorates. To be effective and maintain status, elites must balance contradictory expectations of different elite groups and their electorate—in non-democratic settings, their clientele. Analyses of policy-making networks in consolidated democracies confirm that such networks include representatives of governmental agencies and other organized groups and only a few non-elite persons. Network members are engaged in a complex process of bargaining that takes place in a variety of formal and informal committees.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Pascal Daloz
    • 1
  • Ursula Hoffmann-Lange
    • 2
  1. 1.CNRSSAGEStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.University of BambergBambergGermany

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