Oksana Gaman-Golutvina, D.Sc. in Political Science, is a well-known Russian political expert; Professor of the Russian Presidential Public Administration Academy, the Moscow Institute (University) of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation; member of the Russian Academy of Political Science; and Deputy Chairman of the Scientific Council of the Russian Political Science Association.

The present book is a conceptual study of the historic formation and evolution of political elites in Russia over a broad historical period from Kievan Russia (10th-12th centuries) to the present day. The author proposes an original approach to the study of the processes of elite formation, which makes it possible to uncover the causal relationship between the type of societal development and the model of elite recruiting. The author describes in detail all the different factors that have led to the emergence of mobilizational development as the predominant model of Russias historical evolution. She also identifies the factors that have evoked a need and opened up opportunities for rejecting mobilizational methods of administration and explains why attempts to take advantage of these possibilities failed in Russian history.

The author makes a study of the mutual dependence between the type of societal development and the type of elite recruitment: as analysis shows, it is the political system that serves as a connecting link between the type of societal development and the model of elite recruiting. The role of the political system as a connecting link between the type of development and the type of elite recruitment derives from the fact that development is one of the two central functions (along with adaptation) of the political system.

An original typology of the models of elite recruitment is proposed in the book. The key parameters of different models of elite recruitment (the predominant mechanisms of elite recruiting and rotation; the particularities of the internal structure of elites and its evolution at different stages of the modernization process; the specifics of inter-elite interaction and the nature of relations in the elites-masses system; and the characteristic types of political leadership in different models of elite formation) are described in detail.

The analysis of the historical genesis of power elites in Russia employs extensive historical and empirical material and shows that, despite considerable differences in the empirical appearance and historical specifics of Russian ruling groups that have fulfilled administrative functions at different stages of the countrys political evolution (boyars, nobles, Imperial bureaucracy, Soviet nomenklatura), the systemic principles of the recruiting and functioning of these groups as well as the nature of their internal organization have remained similar. As is shown, this has resulted from the predominance of mobilizational methods and mechanisms during considerable periods in the history of the Russian state.

A study of the specific realization of the general tendencies of the formation of power groups in Russian society at different stages of their historic evolution was made.

The author also stakes out the key problems in studying elite recruitment processes in contemporary society; makes a conceptual analysis of the specifics of elite formation in post-Soviet Russia; identifies key evolutionary trends of contemporary Russian political elites and shows possible alternatives for their transformation.



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