Romanian research on elites of the 19th and 20th centuries
The paper offers a synthetic overview of the historical and social sciences writings on 19th and 20th century Romanian elites. Following the original local sociological constructs developed during the interwar period, the early socialist regime stopped almost all research on the topic for the next two decades. The interest rose again slowly in the 1970s and 1980s, when preliminary investigations highlighted some of the future research subjects: intellectuals, economic, and political elites. After 1989, historians were the first to enter the field, opening workshops on the previously mentioned categories, and more recently on ecclesiastical, military, and administrative elites. Social and political scientists followed shortly, focusing mainly – but not exclusively – on the socialist and post-socialist elites. Despite the flourishing period of the last two decades, and the generally positive trend, the historical research on elites in Romania produced mainly empirical studies. The methodological and theoretical framework was left unapproached, partly due to a lack of tradition, partly because of the low level of collaboration between historians and social scientists.