Dictionnaire de la Science Politique

Authors: Hermet, Badie, Birnbaum & Braud
Summary: This very brief entry, of about 70 words, recalls both Aristotle's and the more recent meaning of aristocracy. Aristotle's meaning refers to a political regime where power belongs to a small group, who uses it in the interest of all. The more recent meaning, i.e. the old regime's, refers to the second estate, viz. the nobility or, more generally, the privileged class.