Vertical and Horizontal Accountability of Global Elites : Some Theoretical Reflections and a Preliminary Research Agenda

Professorship/Faculty: Lehrstuhl für Vergleichende Politikwissenschaft 
Author(s): Hoffmann-Lange, Ursula
Title of the Journal: Elite foundations of social theory and politics
ISSN: 0172-6404
Corporate Body: Zentrum für Historische Sozialforschung
Publisher Information: Köln : Center for Historical Social Research
Year of publication: 2012
Pages / Size: S. 193 - 208
Series ; Volume: Historical social research ; 139 = 37,1 : Special issue
Year of first publication: 2012
Language(s): English
Licence: German Act on Copyright 
Document Type: Article
has given rise to an ever-increasing number of global elites holding
leadership positions in transnational institutions, corporations and NGOs. This
raises questions regarding the structure and accountability of these elites. Are they just an abstract category of position-holders representing national or organizational
interests in transnational decision-making or do they rather form a cohesive ruling group united by common interests, as some theoreticians of
globalization have assumed? Elite theory has identified a number of relevant
characteristics that can be used for assessing the nature of this nascent elite
formation. These include primarily the prevailing patterns of elite recruitment
with respect to the representation of societal diversity, the mechanisms of elite
accountability and the existence of informal rules of conduct that enable the
accommodation of conflicts of interest.
Keywords: elites, globalization, elite recruitment, representation
Release Date: 4. October 2012