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Completed project

Elites and society

Elite unity and elite/mass correspondence or widended gaps?

Project period 2014 - 2017
Project employer The Research Council of Norway
Project nr. 10008
Project leader Trygve Gulbrandsen

Project Background

A decade ago the Norwegian Leadership Study 2000, in combination with the Citizenship study from the same year, demonstrated that elites in Norway supported democracy and democratic institutions, exhibited shared trust in central institutions, and rallied behind significant compromises. Available data at the time also testified a strong popular adherence to the welfare state based upon public services.

In light of significant changes that have taken place during the latest decade, i.e. the financial crisis, increased globalization, the EU crisis, climate changes, growing migration, etc. we asked whether elite unity still is prevalent and whether a correspondence between elite and mass attitudes still is present.

Research Questions

We focused upon three sets of questions:

  1. Elite integration; studying to what extent the various sector elites are forming a more or less unified group
  2. Social distance between elites and population, in attitudes and reciprocal perceptions
  3. Elite attitudes toeards gender equality and diversity


  • Conducted survey with 1351 Norwegian Top Leaders in 2015

  • Collected and updated data on Norwegian parliamentarians, from the years 2001-2013, for the European MP database EASE CUBE


Fredrik Engelstad Dr. philos. Affiliated Researcher +47 22 85 40 02 +47 900 22 484 Send e-mail
Trygve Gulbrandsen Dr. philos. Research Professor Emeritus +47 906 56 882 Send e-mail
Arnfinn H. Midtbøen PhD Associate Professor, Research Professor +47 920 82 553 Send e-mail
Mari Teigen Dr. polit. Research professor, Director CORE – Centre for Research on Gender Equality +47 482 07 137 Send e-mail


  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2020). Business elite as elected representatives in voluntary organizations in Norway. Politics and Governance.  8, s 130- 141
  • Arnfinn Haagensen Midtbøen & Mari Teigen (2019). Verdipolarisering i norsk kontekst? Avstand mellom elite og befolkning i holdninger til innvandring og likestilling. Politica - Tidsskrift for politisk videnskab.
  • Mari Teigen & Rune Karlsen (2019). Influencing Elite Opinion on Gender Equality through Framing: A Survey Experiment of Elite Support for Corporate Board Gender Quotas. Politics & Gender.  s 1- 24
  • Fredrik Engelstad (2018). Models of elite integration, In John Higley & Heinrich Best (ed.),  The Palgrave Handbook of Political Elites.  Palgrave Macmillan.  ISBN 978-1-137-51903-0.  28.  s 439 - 457
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2018). Business Elite Confidence in Political Institutions: The Case of Norway, In Cathrine Holst; Gunnar C. Aakvaag & Fredrik Engelstad (ed.),  Democratic State and Democratic Society.  De Gruyter Open.  ISBN 978-3-11-063407-5.  16.  s 343 - 362
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2018). En rask eller lang og kronglete vei til topps? Næringslivslederes karriereforløp. Søkelys på arbeidslivet.  35, s 96- 110
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2018). Continued Elite Support for the Norwegian Version of the Nordic Model?. Historical Social Research.  43, s 113- 140
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2017). Rise and fall of elites: Professionals as movers?. European Societies.  20, s 159- 182
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2017). Elite ambiguity towards internationalization? The case of Norway. Corvinus journal of sociology and social policy.  8, s 39- 54
  • Aagoth Elise Lossius Storvik & Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2016). Included, but still not equal? Gender segregation at quota regulated boards. Corporate Board: Role, Duties and Composition.  12, s 35- 45
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2016). Элиты и профессионалы/Elites and professions. Mirovaya Ekonomika i Mezhdunarodnye Otnosheniya.  60, s 71- 83
  • Aagoth Elise Lossius Storvik & Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2015). Selskapsdamer og selskapsløver. Kjønnssegregering i allmennaksjeselskapenes styrer?, In Gry Agnete Alsos; Elisabet Ljunggren; Agnes Bolsø & Hilde Bjørkhaug (ed.),  Kjønn og næringsliv i Norge.  Cappelen Damm Akademisk.  ISBN 978-82-02-48230-5.  Kapittel 6.  s 109 - 131

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  • Fredrik Engelstad (2018). Bokessay om: Olav Korsnes, Johan Heilbron, Johs. Hjellbrekke, Felix Bühlmann, Mike Savage (red.): New Directions in Elite Studies. Norsk sosiologisk tidsskrift.  2, s 429- 433
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2017). Fortsatt elite-støtte til den norske modellen?. Stat og styring.  27, s 38- 41
  • Trygve Jens Gulbrandsen (2015). Elites and professions.

View all works in Cristin

Tags: Gender Equality, Elections and Democracy
Published Jan. 14, 2014 11:22 AM - Last modified Nov. 16, 2018 2:54 PM