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Theory-Based Typologies of Political Elites

  • Ursula Hoffmann-Lange
Chapter

Abstract

Elite typologies are conceptual tools used to reduce the empirical variety of elites to a small number of ideal types. This chapter is limited to discussing elite typologies that make explicit assumptions about the relationship between the attributes of elites and the characteristics of regimes. The two dimensions that have been the basis of most theory-oriented elite typologies are the extent of elite integration and the character of elite-citizen linkages. The complexity of the characteristics of elites, elite-citizen linkages, and regimes on which the typologies are based poses fundamental problems of operationalization. Empirical elite research has used elite typologies primarily as a means to illustrate the usefulness of a large number of indicators without adequately discussing how they can be combined to test the validity of the theories underlying these elite typologies. More comparative and longitudinal research is needed to tackle these problems.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ursula Hoffmann-Lange
    • 1
  1. 1.University of BambergBambergGermany

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