Political class  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Political class, or political elite is a concept in comparative political science originally developed by Italian political theorist theory of Gaetano Mosca (1858–1941). It refers to the relatively small group of activists that is highly aware and active in politics, and from whom the national leadership is largely drawn. As Max Weber noted, they not only live "for politics"—like the old notables used to—but make their careers "off politics" as policy specialists and experts on specific fields of public administration. Mosca approached the study of the political class by examining the mechanisms of reproduction and renewal of the ruling class; the characteristics of politicians; and the different forms of organization developed in their wielding of power.

Elected legislatures may become dominated by subject-matter specialists, aided by permanent staffs, who become a political class.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Political class" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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