Elite Circulation and Stability



The chapter starts from a short review of the classical contributions on elites’ circulation and stability, and then deals with how these concepts have been treated and applied in the study of transformations to representative democracy during the twentieth century. An updated assessment of the empirical studies dealing with different aspects of elite circulation is offered, focusing on research questions concerning quantitative and qualitative elite turnover, elite stability, and the strictly connected notions of political career and party professionalism. A final section examines current research on the dynamics of elite circulation and looks at the new challenges posed to political elites in times of democratic crisis and public mistrust, which seem to raise innovative and fascinating questions about the capability of ruling elites to persist or to accelerate the pace of their continuous transformation.


Elite Circulation Stable Elite Professional Party Elite Transformation Elite Change 
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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SienaSienaItaly

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