eCite Digital Repository

The Weberian foundations of modern elite theory and democractic elitism


Pakulski, J, The Weberian foundations of modern elite theory and democractic elitism, Historical Social Research, 37, (1) pp. 38-56. ISSN 0172-6404 (2012) [Refereed Article]

Restricted - Request a copy

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2011 GESIS Philip Jost Janssen.

Official URL:


Max Weber's portrayal of modern elites shows clear proximity to "classical elite theory," modem "elite perspective," and "democratic elitism." This portrayal - stressing power concentration in the state apparata, legitimacy of rule, centrality of leadership groups, and the capacity of these groups to form cohesive power actors - anticipates many central themes in the work of contemporary elite theorists, such as John Higley, whose theoretical attention focuses on patterns of elite integration and ruling consensus as the key "elite variables." Higley's seminal studies, especially those linking such elite integration and ruling consensus with political outcomes and regime types, combine the classical elite-theoretical heritage with the Weberian "supplements," the latter stressing the variable internal structure of "ruling minorities" that form in modern nation states. The Weberian elite perspective and theoretical model have been substantiated, elaborated and extended in research undertaken by John Higley and his collaborators.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:elite, elite theory, Max Weber, democratic elitism
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociological methodology and research methods
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Pakulski, J (Professor Jan Pakulski)
ID Code:76501
Year Published:2012
Web of Science® Times Cited:8
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2012-03-07
Last Modified:2016-10-19
Downloads:3 View Download Statistics

Repository Staff Only: item control page