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Elite Formation And Democratic Elitism In Central And Eastern Europe: A Comparative Analysis

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter democratic elitism is used as an analytical concept to comprehend the complex reality of modern democracy and the role of political elites. To what extent has democracy been crafted in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) countries during the past two decades? To answer this, the chapter examines the members of CEE national parliaments. It first assesses the social composition of Members of parliaments (MPs) to determine similarities and dissimilarities across party lines. The chapter then examines the extent of MPs' political professionalization and the diversity of their careers across the CEE countries. This is followed by a discussion of public perceptions of MPs, trends in general elections, and aspects of MPs' political behavior. This distinction identifies some of the barriers to democratic elitism in CEE countries. The chapter concludes with the implications of the analysis for democratic elitism as an explanatory concept.

Keywords: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE); democratic elitism; political elites



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