Change in the Past (1)

  • Charles Seaford
Part of the Wellbeing in Politics and Policy book series (WPP)


Normally, when there is no change, elites share norms and expectations of each other, and are unified in a way that their opponents rarely are. This is the source of their power, suggesting that if they become fragmented, and a more unified counter-elite emerges, their grip can be loosened. Historians’ accounts of revolutions or periods of radical change confirm that this is indeed the pattern: the elite fragments and its dissident members join forces with its opponents. The resulting counter-elite forms an alliance with the people, and this alliance is held together by strong belief in ideas and ideals. These contrast the glorious future with the decaying past.

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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Charles Seaford
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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