The Comparative Study of Political Elites

by William B. Quandt

Download

Download eBook for Free

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.2 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.

Purchase

Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback59 pages $23.00 $18.40 20% Web Discount

A discussion of ways to better use the technique of social-background analysis and the considerable body of existing data in the study of national political elites. Comparative analysis is a necessary focus. Trend studies of characteristics of political decisionmakers show that percentages of older, university-educated politicians, as well as workers, increase in three out of four cases. Such analysis of comparative age, education, and occupation illuminates trends, is useful in studying different levels of authority, and clarifies and measures key concepts. It draws on social-background data to test theories and to trace the changing social bases of political elites. Searching for empirical relationships between background variables and political-social-economic change leads to the preliminary conclusion that political competition, dominance of liberal professionals, and slow rates of change are concomitants. Future research should focus on comparative studies of social backgrounds of leaders of countries that have yet to be analyzed.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.