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The virtual library on governing groups in brazil is a collection of electronic documents and of Brazilian and foreign websites containg relevant information and specialized analyses of the subject.

Aimed at researchers and at the public in general, it congregates, in selective and organized fashion, references to research centers, information portals, institutional archives, articles, papers, biographical dictionaries, books, collections, dissertations and theses on political and social elites, governing groups, public bureaucracies, judicial agents, union leaders, business association leaders, parliament members, etc.

Each source of information carries a description of the contents available and of the website or document. The descriptions were extracted directly from the selected sites and then summarized or adapted for the purposes of this listing.

The fundamental criterion for inclusion of a site or file was thematic affinity and a connection to Brazil.

The virtual library on governing groups in Brazil is maintained by the núcleo de pesquisa em sociologia política brasileira (nusp), based at the social sciences department and the political science graduate program (programa de pós-graduação em ciência política – ppgcp) of the federal university of paraná (universidade federal do paraná – ufpr).

Hosted in the observatory of political and social elites in Brazil this virtual library is the result of a partnership between the federal university of Paraná (universidade federal do paraná – ufpr), the pontifical catholic university of rio grande do sul  (pontifícia universidade católica do rio grande do sul – pucrs) and the federal university of sergipe (universidade federal de sergipe – ufs) for the carrying out of the project entitled “Composition and recomposition of governing groups the Northeast and South regions of Brazil: a comparatitve an interdisciplinary approach”, financed by Capes from 2010 to 2012 within its Academic Cooperation Program (PROCAD).

Suggestions for inclusion in the library are welcome. To make a recommendation send an e-mail to oelites@gmail.com.



ruling classes/elites

A brief definition of these terms, often employed interchangeable is in order: governing groups or elites are groups of individuals situated at the uppermost positions of scales of power, prestige and influence of (public and private) organizations exsitent in any given society. These minorities occupy directing roles in a community.

The positions of command in social space – or at least the political positions – are distributed among the economically dominating classes and politically dominating classes.  The political elites, the “political class” (understood here as synonyms) are, according to the traditional proposition made by Mosca, only part of the larger set termed the “governing class.” Despite Mosca’s ambiguous use of the two terms, as noted by Burnham, the expression “governing class” also encompasses, in addition to the political elite, all those agents beyond the state and government who are nevertheless able to influence political decisions, without directly exercising power. This category includes several other minoritary groups, such as the economic class, the religious groups the intellectual group, etc. The political class, or the political elites, on its turn, is a subspecies of governing class: it is, according to Meisel, the part of the governing class in charge of the task of governing. It corresponds to, following the terminology of Aron, the “political personnel” of a given society, that is, those in charge of the administration of the state and professional politicians.

The conditions of access to elite positions, the unequal control of resources of power and the varying degree of influence over decision-making processes by specific groups are conditions to, although not exclusively, by position in the social structure, by the institutional design which molds political competition and by the configuration of the state apparatus (the relationships of hierarchy and subordination among its deciding instances). These variables, combined, are responsible for the “elite structure” (Aron) of a given society.


Page last updated on 29 June 2012