The Hungarian Political Elite

Project leader

Imre Kovách


Bernadett Csurgó

Luca Kristóf

Anna Légmán,

Boldizsár Megyesi


This research is a follow-up of our 1988/93 and 2001 empirical studies.

Within the political elite there is a sharp divining line - based on the structure of activity -between the institutional and the politician positions. The main characteristics of the parties and the elite of government is professionalization: the professional knowledge falls into background and the politician profession gets into foreground, while for the elite of public it is the professional knowledge which is dominant.

As a result of analytical identity analysis the political elite’s identity (their descent family’s status) has two types. One type is from a high status family, mainly spending childhood in the capital. The other type is from low or mixed status family, mainly grew up in villages or small towns. As an element of chosen identity, the characteristics of professional carriers are that current political elite has working experience (in many cases a lot indeed) at firms close to the state or the state. Thus, in building their carrier they are linked to public sphere, they know the functions and the logic and later they profit from this knowledge. Altogether the third of the respondents are regarding themselves as member of political elite.