WP Global Economy 2017.03.28
Does changing the form of government actually change who are in power? Despite its significance for regime change and state building, the impact of regime change on the elite group has not received adequate scholarly attention. The new data on 2,980 government elites since the Meiji Restoration Japan (1868) revealed the three results: (i) the proportion of elites whose fathers were elites in the former regime is low in the regime transition phase but increases in the regime consolidation phase, (ii) the proportion of elites whose fathers were commoners increases throughout the regime change process, and (iii) the internal hierarchy of political elites begins to more intensively reflect the social stratum of the former regime and discount the people's own talents as the new regime consolidates. Regime change increases social mobility in the elite society but it does not last long.