The Role of Elites in the Description of the Early Modern State.

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftPaper/skriftligt oplægForskningpeer review

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Most, if not all, historical analyses of the emergence and growth of the modern western state integrates some sort of elitarian concept. Mostly used as actors or as more or less integrated and differentiated collective(s), defining the grand directions of state formation, it often stays as an unreflected preposition.
The presentation tries to answer the two questions, (1) why the identification of important peoples was or is presumed a necessary requisite in both theoretical and empirical historical research in state formation, and (2) which consequences a turn from an actor-centric perspective to a systems-theoretical position could provide for an enhanced theoretical reflection of the role of elites in both theory and empirical research. The presentation ends with a short discussion of a part of Luhmannian theory: why were elites removed their functional importance after the transition from stratificatoric to modern society, when on the other hand
Luhmann relied heavily on elitarian semantics, that is: "gehobene,
bewahrenswehrte Semantik", in his empirical research programme.
Antal sider20
StatusUdgivet - 2011


  • sociologi