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Revista de Sociologia e Política

versão impressa ISSN 0104-4478


SERNA, Miguel. Globalization and structure of power changes: new Uruguayan business elite in comparative perspective. Rev. Sociol. Polit. [online]. 2013, vol.21, n.46, pp.93-103. ISSN 0104-4478.

The paper wondering about trends and challenges: Which are the main causes of challenges and reproduction of business elites? What are the patterns of Latin-American business elites? What are the consequences on economical recruitment because of neoliberal economic globalization? Which are the main theoretical and comparative explanations? The comparative method identifies five types of elite changes in the last decades of hegemony of neoliberal development cycle. First, convergence and divergence processes between political and economic elite trajectories. Second, functional specialization and diversification processes between elites groups according to different sources of economic power. Third, traditional domination mechanisms reinforce economic elites' reproduction. Fourth, the role of economic and symbolic capital in order to legitimate the economic power. Finally, global networks and modes of capital trans nationalization became more and more relevant on shaping business elites groups. The comparative perspective of the literature and studies on business elites in Uruguay in the last decades shows similar trends (in a small country economy) and changes in the composition of business elites. The growing importance of transnational capital and new managers bases on control and professional management companies, global networks and new forms of social capital. These changes contrast with classic profiles of entrepreneurs recruited through family capital, inherited prestige and traditional union business membership. Moreover, the decline of national union business as main organizations of business interests in front of political power. Economic globalization increased public and academic interest on the study of economic elites. The increasing power of capital and transnational corporations in Latin-American countries had several consequences. Uruguay, a small-scale economy, high human development had many transformations in the economic development model in the last decades with the emergence of new business actors on the national scene and in left turn over government.

Palavras-chave : Business Elites; globalization; power.

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