Political Elites and Democracy

  • András Körösényi


Theorists of elites, especially followers of Vilfredo Pareto, Gaetano Mosca, Robert Michels, Max Weber, and Joseph Schumpeter, have criticized democracy, understood as rule by the people, as illusory. Theorists of democracy have reciprocated by portraying political elites and strong leaders as dangerous. Although acrimony between the two schools of thought has abated somewhat during a long debate, there is still a sizable gap between elite theorists, who regard democracy with skepticism, and neo-classical theorists of democracy. This chapter examines both sides of the debate and the direction in which it may be headed.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • András Körösényi
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Social SciencesHungarian Academy of Sciences and Corvinus University of BudapestBudapestHungary

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