Since the Third Wave of democratization research on clientelism has experienced a revival. The puzzling persistence of clientelism in new and old democracies inspired researchers to investigate the micro-foundations and causes of this phenomenon. Though the decline of clientelistic practices – such as vote buying and patronage – in democratic contexts has often been predicted, they have proven to be highly adaptive strategies of electoral mobilization and party building.
This volume seeks to contribute to this new line of research and develops a theoretical framework to study the consequences of clientelism for democratic governance. Under governance we understand “all processes of governing, whether undertaken by a government, market, or network, whether over a family, tribe, formal or informal organization, or territory, and whether through laws, norms, power or language”.
Introduction, Saskia Ruth-Lovell / 2. Patrons or Champions? The Organizational Strategies of Ethnic Parties, Petr Kopecky & Maria Spirova / 3. Political Clientelism and Affirmative Action in India, Frank de Zwart / 4. Clientelism and Policy Congruence in Latin American Democracies. Saskia P. Ruth / 5. Democratic Regression and Clientelism: Evidence from Russia, Inga Saikkonen / Part II: Clientelism and Democratic Governance: The Output-Side / 6. Parties in Government and Clientelism in Romania, Clara Volintiru & Sergiu Gherghina / 7. How the Quality of Government Affects the Choice Between Programmatic Spending and Partisan Favours. Juha Ylisalo / 8. Clientelism and Political Business Cycles: Evidence from Health Policy in Italy, Francesco Stolfi / 9. Universal Social Policies and Clientelistic Party Strategies in Latin America, Sarah Berens & Saskia Ruth-Lovell / 10. Misusing Reform: New Public Governance in the Service of Clientelism, Anka Kekez Kostro / 11. The Bureaucracy as an Opportunity Structure for Clientelism: neopatrimonial patterns in Argentina and Brazil (1990-2010), Luciana Cingolani / 12. Conclusion, Maria Spirova
Scholars have offered much speculation, but little evidence on the consequences of clientelism for political representation and citizens’ socio-economic life chances. The volume edited by Ruth-Lovell and Spirova makes a big step forward to focus attention on these subjects and present pertinent results. It will be a model and agenda setter for future research.
A timely and insightful contribution to the ongoing debate on the drivers of clientelism and its consequences for democratic representation. This collection of essays, spanning many regions of the world - from Latin America to India, from Europe to Asia - investigates both sides of democratic representation - delegation and accountability - analyzing clitetelism in both roles as dependent and independent variable. Building on a consolidated literature, the editors, Saskia Ruth-Lovell and Maria Spirova, and the other contributors to this volume arrive at some important conclusions - for example, that ethnic or other types of segmental politics are fully compatible with the adoption of clientelistic exchanges or that clientelism indeed tends to undermine its own financial sustainability and lead to suboptimal allocation of resources - by means of often innovative quantitative and qualitative analyses that push the frontier of research on clientelism forward.