Advertisement

Political Elites in the West

  • John Higley
Chapter

Abstract

By the West, I mean the countries of Europe that were coextensive historically with Western Christendom and its offshoots in North America and Australasia. I treat the contemporary West as consisting of the European Union countries, together with the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Although Norway, Switzerland, and Iceland are not formal members of the European Union, they are clearly part of the contemporary West. Nearly all of these 35 countries have reasonably stable political systems over which consensually united political elites, practicing a generally restrained politics, preside. Yet, in the bulk of Western countries during most of their modern histories, political elites were deeply disunited, with warring factions seeking political supremacy at virtually any cost. I examine changes in political elite behavior since World War II and challenges to their consensus and unity between now and this century’s mid-point.

References

  1. Best, H., & Higley, J. (Eds.). (2014). Political Elites in the Transatlantic Crisis. London: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Blinder, A. (2013). After the Music Stopped. New York: Penguin.Google Scholar
  3. Galbraith, J. K. (2015). The End of Normal: The Great Crisis and the Future of Economic Growth. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  4. Gordon, R. J. (2016). The Rise and Fall of American Growth: The US Standard of Living Since the Civil War. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Higley, J. (2016). The Endangered West. Myopic Elites and Fragile Social Orders in a Threatening World. New York: Transaction/Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Huntington, S. P. (1990). The Third Wave. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.Google Scholar
  7. Huntington, S. P. (1996). The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order. New York: Simon & Schuster.Google Scholar
  8. Kurlantzick, J. (2013). Democracy in Retreat: The Revolt of the Middle Class and the Worldwide Decline of Representative Government. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Linz, J., & Stepan, A. (Eds.). (1978). The Breakdown of Democracy: Europe. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Piketty, T. (2014). Capital in the Twenty-First Century. Cambridge: Belknap Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Plattner, M. F. (2014). The End of the Transitions Era? Journal of Democracy, 25(3), 5–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Summers, L. (2014, September 8). Bold Reform Is the Only Answer to Secular Stagnation. Financial Times, p. 9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John Higley
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

Personalised recommendations