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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Recruitment into the Eastern European Communist Elite: Dual Career Paths


Using data from Szelenyi and Treiman’s 1993 six-nation survey of Social Stratification in Eastern Europe, we replicate and extend Walder, Li, and Treiman’s (2000) paper showing different paths into the Chinese urban elite for professionals and cadres. For each of six formerly communist nations (Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Slovakia), we find effects quite similar to those shown by Walder, Li, and Treiman for China: education is a more important determinant of recruitment to professional positions than to cadre positions and communist party membership is a more important determinant of recruitment to cadre than to professional positions. Unlike patterns of elite recruitment in China, however, we find virtually no detectable differences in patterns of elite recruitment over time, contrary to the conventional wisdom of students of Eastern European communism.

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