The structure of political elite networks in the Republic of Poland in 1993—2013
To identify the structure of network ties within Polish political elites; to study the features of network ties formation and the impact that both primary and labour socialisation periods and diaspora characteristics have on this process; to describe the structural features of the resultant network structures over different periods of time and analyse the structural dynamics of political elites for the purpose of forecasting major trends in the structural transformation of Polish political elites. In the course of the study, biographical data on the presidents, ministers, advisors, and party leaders of the Republic of Poland was collected and processed. The work follows the network analysis paradigm and identifies the dynamics of the key network parameters: distance, density, transitivity, and compactness. The author analyses the dynamics of representation in the structure of political territorial diaspora elites, business community members, and ‘moral politicians’. The article identifies two periods of formation of political party networks in Poland: the first period (1993—2007) saw a transition from rather weakly integrated systems to high density and cohesion networks as early as the second electoral cycle, after which a gradual decrease in the key indices of network integration was registered. A new peak of network cohesion and integration was reached in 2007—2011; however, the death of some key members of political elites in a plane crash resulted in a decrease in the network integration indices to the level of 2001—2005. On the whole, the network structure of Polish political elite is characterised by unstable dynamics relating to the crisis events of the past. However, it is established that the elites have a pronounced diaspora core and an unstable periphery; the share of businesspeople directly participating in political processes is decreasing, whereas ‘moral politicians’ usually take an active part in the formation of political elites.
1. Fodor, E., Wnuk-Lipinski, E. Yershova, N. 1995, The New Political and Cultural Elite, Theory and Society, Vol. 24, no. 5 : Special Issue on Circulation vs Reproduction of Elites during the Postcommunist Transformation of Eastern Europe, p. 783—800.
2. Gallina, N. 2008, Political Elites in East Central Europe: Paving the Way for "Negative Europeanisation"? Budrich UniPress Ltd.
3. Wasilewski, J. 2001, Three Elites of the Central-East European Democratization. In: Markowski, R. Wnuk-Lipinski, E. (eds.) Transformative Paths in Central and Eastern, Warsaw, Institute of Polish Studies, 206 p.
4. Wasilewski, J. 2010, Political Elites as an Agent of Social Change: The Polish Perspective. In: Silbereisen, R. K., Chen, X. Social Change and Human Development: Concept and Results, SAGE Publications Ltd.
5. Wasilewski, J. 2009, Politicheskaja jelita srednej stupeni: problematika issledovanija [The political elite middle stage: research issues], POLITJeKS — POLITicheskaja JeKSpertiza [Political Expertise], Vol. 5, no. 2, p. 5—27.
6. Zhukovsky, I. I. 2011, Rekrutacija politicheskih jelit v sovremennoj Pol'she: nekotorye predvaritel'nye suzhdenija [Recruitment of the political elite in contemporary Poland: some preliminary judgments], Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta. Serija 12. Politicheskie nauki [Vestnik of Moscow State University. Series 12. Political science], no. 6, p. 48—55.
7. Richard, А., Wnuk-Lipiński, E. 2002, Istochniki politicheskoj stabil'nosti i nestabil'nosti v Pol'she [Sources of political stability and instability in Poland], Sociologicheskie issledovanija [Sociological Studies], no. 6.
8. Tarasov, I. N. 2000, Problema dinamiki processa posttotalitarnogo razvitija stran Vostochnoj Evropy [The problem of the dynamics of the process of posttotalitarian countries of Eastern Europe], Social'no-jekonomicheskoe razvitie Rossii. Problemy, poiski, reshenija [Socio-economic development of Russia. Problems, finding solutions], Saratov, p. 51—53.
9. Higley, J. 2011, Elity, vne-elitnye gruppy i predely politiki: teoreticheskij rakurs [Elite, elite group of out-of-policy and limits: a theoretical perspective]. In: Gaman-Golutvina, O. V. (eds.) Elity i obshhestvo v sravnitel'nom izmerenii [Elites and Society in the comparative measurement], Moscow, Rossijskaja politicheskaja jenciklopedija (ROSSPJeN), 431 p.
10. Higley, J., Burton, M. 2006, Elite Foundations of Liberal Democracy, Boulder, Rowman & Littlefield.
11. Wasserman, S., Faust, K. 1994, Social Network Analysis: Method and Application, Cambridge University Press, 825 p.
12. Knoke, D. 1990, Political Networks: the Structural Perspective, Cambridge University Press.
13. Agh, A. 1998, The Politics of Central Europe. London, Thousand Oaks, New Delhi, Sage Publications.
14. Lieven, A. 1994, The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence, New Haven, London: Yale University Press.
15. Kirchanov, M. V. 2007, Latvija i strany Baltii: problemy diplomaticheskoj i politicheskoj istorii [Latvia and the Baltic States: the issue of diplomatic and political history],Voronezh, Voronezh State University.
16. Almond, G. A., Flanagan, S., Mundt, R. (eds.) 1973, Crisis, Choice, and Change: Historical Stories of Political Development, Boston, Little, Brown and Co.
17. Dogan, М., Higley, J. 1998, Elites, Crises, and the Origins of Regimes, Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, Boulder CO.
18. Matonyte, I. 2009, Ex-nomenklatura and Ex-dissidents in the Post-communist Parliaments of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Poland, Viesoji politika ir administravimas, no. 29, p. 28—39.
19. Steen, A. 1997, The New Elites in the Baltic States: Recirculation and Change, Scandinavian Political Studies, Bind 20 (New Series), no. 1, p. 91—112.
20. The New Democracies in Eastern Europe: Party Systems and Political Cleavages, 1994, Aldershot.