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Heinrich Best, Ronald Gebauer & Axel Salheiser, Political and Functional Elites in Post-Socialist Transformation: Central and East Europe since 1989/90. An Introduction [Abstract]

After the breakdown of Communist regimes in the East at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s unparalleled societal transitory processes have evolved and reshaped the political world map. Political and functional Elites have played a decisive role in the multi-layered process of societal transformation. Today’s Central and East European societies face new challenges that only partly emerged from the socialist legacy. How have representative and functional elites in East and Central Europe affected and been affected by this transformation? Have they found and embraced strategies of change or have they sought ways of persistence? The emergence, the success or failure, and the survival or replacement of elites is closely bound to these questions. Accordingly, the international research into elite continuity and elite discontinuity addresses issues of recruitment, careers, and analyses the respective socio-political frameworks.