Objectives. This study employs the theory of threats to assess the claim of democratic elitism that elites are more tolerant, politically, than the general public.
Methods. Utilizing survey data collected from social elites and the masses in Taiwan, a logit model with binary outcomes is employed.
Results. The statistical results show that Taiwanese elites generally exhibit a higher level of political tolerance than the masses but that they become less tolerant when the stakes are perceived to be high.
Conclusions. The empirical evidence confirms the theory of democratic elitism but with important qualifications. This finding suggests that ordinary voters in democratic polities need to continually exercise their power as the final arbitrators of state policies.