Historical Social Research

Christian Schneickert: Globalizing Political and Economic Elites in National Fields of Power. [Abstract]

The article contributes to the discussions about global elites from a field-theoretical and empirical perspective. The examination of comparative biographical data on political and economic elites in two countries from the Global North (Germany and the US) and the Global South (Brazil and India) shows that elites in all four countries are globalizing. However, this process is strongly embedded in specific historic and socio-cultural structures of national fields of power. Emerging powers from the “Global South” seem to establish their own “schools of power” for the educational reproduction of their national elites. Therefore, speaking of a homogenous global elite is misleading and obscures the multiple conflicts between elite factions in national fields of power, as well as between national elites from different countries and world regions. Consequently, field-theoretical research on elites must be embedded in a comprehensive analysis of power, conflict, and class-relations on the national as well as on the global level of the capitalist world system.

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