Elite Dynamics and Dilemmas

  • Maurizio Cotta


However important or even decisive their role in politics, political elites have to face crucial dilemmas and challenges. Three dilemmas—time, space and institutional environment—are, so to say, systemic, that is, they have to do with some basic dimensions of the organization of political life itself. A fourth dilemma, concerning the relationship between collective elites and individual leaders, should also be considered. First, this chapter explores how and through which instruments the crucial problem for any elite of persistence over time is faced. It discusses then how elites are confronted with different models (national, sub-national, supra-national, and international) of the territorial organization of political life. Third, it analyzes the relationship between elites and institutional forms of politics and, finally, the interactions between the collective dimension of political elites and individual figures such as leaders who may emerge both from within elites and outside of them.


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio Cotta
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SienaSienaItaly

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