Historical Social Research

Maurizio Cotta: Vulnerability, Resilience, and Responses: The European Elites System under a Prolonged Crisis. [Abstract]

The article discusses the consequences for the European political system, and more specifically for its elites, of the great recession of the years after 2008. After having defined the concept of European Elites System (EES) and specified its main components, the article analyses the differential impact of the crisis upon the different elite components. Special attention is paid to the difference between those European elite groups (domestic elites and members of the European Council and of the Council of the European Union), which are directly or indirectly accountable to national electorates and the other elite groups (such as the components of the Commission and of the ECB) who are much more protected against popular protest and dissatisfaction. This has produced a different degree of vulnerability and instability across these groups, but also important differences in the responses they have given to the problems arising from the crisis. These consequences are then analysed from the point of view of the democratic quality of the Union.

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