Editor: Mattei Dogan
This book, prepared under the auspices of the ISA research committee on Comparative Sociology, focuses on a worldwide phenomenon: political mistrust, observable in almost all countries, in both established democracies and in authoritarian regimes.
But ubiquity does not signify uniformity. The diversity of political regimes generates a multiplicity of forms and intensities of mistrust. Political mistrust seems inherent even in advanced democracies and in semi-democracies, where citizens are better prepared and more prone to criticize the dysfunctions of institutions and condemn the misconduct of politicians. Political mistrust is greatly nourished in many countries by a wide practice of public corruption. Of particular sociological interest is the vulnerability of political elites and of their frequent condemnation to “civil death”.
Editor: Mattei Dogan
This book, prepared under the auspices of the IPSA Research Committee on Political Elites, focuses on the interpenetration between various types of elites: politicians, owners of capital, corporate managers, higher state administrators, directors of public enterprises, controllers of media, military officers and the civic-cultural establishment. The contributions to this book reveal contrasting patterns of recruitment and selection in terms of career paths, visibility, influence, and power of different elite circles. This diversity of national elite configurations challenges the C. Wright Mills' theory of an integrated "power elite", which appears from a comparative perspective to be peculiar to the United States during the early post-war period. Key concepts are discussed and empirically tested: ruling class, political class, elite circulation versus elite reproduction, elite interpenetration, elite interlocks, elite cohesion, elite osmosis, functional elite roles, formal and informal networks, elite cousinhood, separation versus overlapping between wealth and power, and between power and social capital.
The book covers a great variety of countries: post-industrial democracies (France, Britain, Germany, Canada), new democracies (East-Central Europe, Mexico) and modernizing regimes (Southeast Asia, Tropical Africa), presented by an international selection of distinguished contributors: Andras Bozoki, Roderic Camp, William Case, Jean-Pascal Daloz, Mattei Dogan, Dennis Kavanagh, Michael Ornstein, David Richards, Erwin Scheuch and John Scott.
Author: Mattei Dogan

Abstract

Charismatic leaderships are comparable in spite of the specific character of each case, but not necessarily in spite of the socio-economic-cultural contexts. Significant analogies can be noticed between the political roles of Kendal Attar and Charles de Gaulle in the following respects: the dramatic historical circumstances of their emergence as leaders; the Resistance movement that they headed against foreign military occupation; the symbol of hope that they became in the eyes of the people; the faith they had in their historical mission and their determination; their luck in their undertakings; the outstanding political talents of these two military men; the direct contact with the people that these two leaders were able to establish; the paramount importance that they accorded to national independence; the reinforcement of the state bureaucracy that they imposed; the abandonment of the empire under the pressure of history; the foundation of a new political order and regime; the inevitable personalization of power and their routinization of their heritage. Except in the religious domain, the institutionalization of charisma has a relatively short life.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Mattei Dogan

Abstract

Comparison of three democracies that practice the single member constituency, the common denominator of which is the importance parliamentarians grant to the local issues in their electoral constituencies, often to the detriment of their roles as national legislators and holders of popular legitimacy. These "local servitudes" that entail frequent visits to the constituency and sustained contact with the electors, are examined in terms of tending to the local electoral garden. Emphasis is placed on the similarities between parliamentarians' local preoccupations, in spite of the differences that exist between these three political regimes.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Mattei Dogan

Abstract

The thesis of a ruling class in France, today or yesterday, is not validated by the empirical evidence. The arguments against such a thesis are the following: the overwhelming proportion of elite positions are not transmitted hereditarily; the elite circulation at the highest level is considerable; the professionalization of political careers, which is widespread, is incompatible with the concept of a ruling class; the recruitment of elites is marked by a shift from notables to a meritocracy; the elite configuration consists in multiple spheres and sector partitioning; the selective schools, based on academic competition, generate new elites at each generation; there is fault line between capitalists and the other elite categories; the number of entrepreneurs who have built themselves their company is enormous; the isolation of the cultural elite is astonishing; the subordination of the military elites is an historical fact; the periodical beheading of the ruling elites marks French history. Nonetheless, at the apex of power, a triad, composed of outstanding polictical leaders, of corporate managers and of highers State administrators — called "mandarins" — operates the wheelwork of the heterogeneous and complex French society and State

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Mattei Dogan

Abstract

Definitions of several concepts: ruling class, elite configuration, apex of power, elite interlock, functional elites, elite cousinhood. In the field of elites one notices a preponderance of contemporary American theories which are not all adequate for understanding elites stratification and roles in other parts of the world. A series of binary comparisons between France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and Japan, underlines differences and similarities.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Mattei Dogan

Abstract

In political behaviour, religion has played the role of a barrier against the lower social classes, at such a degree that in most democracies, the vertical cleavages (ethnicity, religion, language, race) have been stronger than the horizontal cleavage (income, education, professional status). Social changes in the last few decades have generated a decline of the social class as well as of the religious factor in the interpretation of political alignments. The concept of status incongruence appears to be a better explanation of contemporary social attitudes and political behaviour. Status imbalances are frequent in advanced pluralist societies, and rare in traditional societies of the Third World. For this reason, this analysis focuses on Western countries. Key words: social status, working class, decline of religious beliefs, status inconsistency, status crystallization, criss-crossing cleavages, downward mobility, individualization.

In: Comparative Sociology
Author: Mattei Dogan

Abstract

The deficit of confidence is attested by a wealth of empirical data. The analysis deals with some nine institutions, political parties, discredit of politicians, the tandem of judges and journalists in denouncing the wrongdoings, the decreasing mistrust between nations as a compensatory trend of mistrust within nations. The countries are ranked according to the level of mistrust, which permeates all social strata. Corruption is an ubiquitous phenomenon in Europe, with few exceptions. Two illustrative emblematic cases are compared; Britain and Italy. In spite of the widespread feeling of mistrust, the legitimacy of democracy remains unchallenged. What types of citizens are needed in advanced democracies? Ignorant, credulous, believers in myths or well informed rationally distrustful citizens? Today democracy is permanently under the supervision of the public, as attested by surveys conducted periodically.

In: Comparative Sociology