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146 Working Paper

Political Elites in Federalized Countries: The Case of Spain (1980-2005)

2007 – Xavier Coller, Helder Ferreira do Vale and Chris Meissner


This paper explores the social profile of the regional elite that has emerged in Spain since the democratization and federalization of the country. For the first time, researchers present data about crucial variables like gender, place of birth, age, education, and profession. They make interregional comparisons, put their data on an international perspective, and try to explain some unexpected findings, such as the behavior of political elites in Catalonia and Castile-La Mancha. The authors compare also the social profile of MPs of the two largest parties and show that the gap between society and political elite has been reduced over the years. The paper offers a research agenda.