This Bachelor's thesis, defended in the Social Science department of the University of Latvia's Social Science faculty in June, 2001, analyzes the process of recruiting Latvia's political elite during the 7th Saeima.
The source of recruits for the political elite of Latvia (During the 7th Saeima)
- Author:Gints Klasons (BA)
The characteristics of political recruitment are considered and, through an analysis of documentation, the largest sources of recruits are determined. Within this policy paper, numerous related issues are analyzed - for example the role of gender, age, education etc., in political recruiting and the motives behind the relations between various groups of elites and so forth. The basic hypothesis of this policy paper, erected on a foundation of theoretical source material and previously conducted practical studies, demonstrates the self-replicating tendency of the political elite during the 7th Saeima: During the 7th Saeima the Latvian political elite has replicated itself - its main source of recruits is the strata of political power.
The Bachelor's thesis is composed of four parts. The first section sets forth the features of the theoretical issues involved - theories analyzing the recruitment process are reviewed and the main sources of recruits, as indicated by the body of scientific literature, are indicated. The second section contains a general review of the process of recruiting Latvia's political elite, including a consideration of political recruiting in the Soviet period and a discussion of the fate of the Soviet political elite during the period of transition. In the third section, in order to clarify the issue, the purpose of an elite is discussed and an attempt is made to define the proper composition of an elite. Consequently, the fourth section is devoted to an analysis of the political elite's recruitment process during the 7th Saeima: a review of the empirical study is provided and the process of recruitment in the post-awakening period and the most relevant sources of recruits are considered. The addendum contains a detailed presentation of the Latvian political elite's formative representatives indicating their arrangement by sphere of employment and a graphic representation of the data gathered during the course of the study is given.
The main conclusions of this work demonstrate the political elite's self-replication within political spheres, the rather broad connections between economic and political leaders, the prevalence of horizontal over vertical mobility and the dependence of potential members of the elite on their sphere of contacts and available resources. It is recommended that further attention be paid to the careers and lifestyles of the children of current members of the elite as the ability of members of the elite to provide their offspring with more appropriate education and experience than other citizens could create an hereditary elite in the future. The tendency to preserve power, not in the hands of one concrete individual but rather within the influence of one singular interest group, is stressed as the essential tendency of political elite recruiting.
Politiskās elites rekrutācijas avoti Latvijā (7. Saeimas laikā)
(pdf Latvian, PDF, 1 534 KB)