43 F
New York
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Home Politics Comparative Politics The Elite Variable in Democracy

The Elite Variable in Democracy

John Higley and Michael Burton argue that the decisions by societal elites play a role in democratic transitions regime breakdowns in their 1989 article “The elite variable in democratic transitions and breakdowns.” Higley and Burton state that democratic transitions and breakdowns can be understood by studying changes in the internal relations of national elites. The first type of national elite that they discuss is the disunified national elite, which produces a series of unstable regimes that tend to alternate between authoritarian and democratic on a regular basis. On the other hand, a consensually unified elite results in a much more stable governmental system that has the potential to evolve into a stable democracy if socioeconomic conditions permit.

According to Higley and Burton, elite disunity stems from the process of nation-state formation. The construction of new states is typically a complicated process characterized by violence and conflict. Additionally, elite disunity involves the repression of certain elite groups by others, which makes disunity inevitable. A disunified elite may cause political instability and leave an opportunity for outside forces to overthrow the regime.

Elite transformations, according to Higley and Burton, occur in two steps. In the first step, various factions enter into voluntary collaboration in electoral politics to mobilize a solid electoral majority and protect their interests by controlling government executive power. In the second step, the primary hostile factions opposing this coalition eventually abandon their ideological stances and adopt those of the winning coalition. As a result of this development, a consensually unified national elite is created, and a stable democratic regime typically emerges.

This article is a response to “The elite variable in democratic transitions and breakdowns,” by John Highley and Michael Burton. It is found at: https://www.scribd.com/document/73166207/HIGLEY-BURTON-The-Elite-Variable-in-Democratic-Transitions-and-Breakdowns

Matthew Rosehttp://ourpolitics.net
Matt studies and analyzes politics at all levels. He is the creator of OurPolitics.net, a scholarly resource exploring political trends, political theory, political economy, philosophy, and more. He hopes that his articles can encourage more people to gain knowledge about politics and understand the impact that public policy decisions have on their lives. Matt is also involved in the preservation of recorded sound through IASA International Bibliography of Discographies, and is an avid record collector.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Nancy Pelosi Re-elected House Speaker Despite Democratic Congressional Losses

Nancy Pelosi has been reelected speaker of the House by her caucus for Congress's next session, marking her fourth term with the...

2020 US Senate Race List

Elections to the US Senate will be held November 3, 2020, with 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested...

OurWeek In Politics (October 21, 2020-October 28, 2020)

Here are the main events that occurred in Politics this week: 1. 2020 Election: Supreme Court Rules In...

2020 Election: Promising Early Vote Numbers Boost Joe Biden’s Chances In Texas

Less than a week before Election Day, Joe Biden is tantalizingly close to a prize that has eluded generations of Democratic presidential...

Recent Comments

© Matt Rose and Ourpolitics.Net, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matt Rose or Respective Authors and Ourpolitics.net with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.