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Nordic Elites In Comparative Perspective

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Chapter Summary

This chapter compares the Nordic, that is, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish, elite structures based on power studies which were completed in these countries in the 2000s. Moreover, the four Nordic countries are associated with largely common history and political culture. The Nordic elites are compared on the grounds of three dimensions: openness of recruitment into the elites, interaction between various elite groups, and interaction between the elites and the people. The recruitment patterns of Nordic elites are very similar as far as gender, education, social stratum, place of birth or place growing up and reproduction is concerned. A common theme in the political debate is that the gap between the people and the elites is growing. The three major elite groups, composed of governmental civil servants, business persons and politicians, are relatively isolated.

Keywords:elite recruitment; Nordic elites; Nordic power studies; political culture



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