Clientelism from the Client’s Perspective: A Meta-Analysis of Ethnographic Literature, published in Perspectives on Politics 28 Dec 2020 (co-authored by Miquel Pellicer, Eva Wegner, Markus Bayer, and Christian Tischmeyer)
This paper bridges the gap between mainstream political science and ethnographic literatures on clientelism by conducting a meta-analysis of ethnographic literature on clientelism from the client perspective. We code characteristics of clientelistic exchanges described in this work. We use cluster analysis and principal component analysis to systematize these data. Cluster analysis groups exchanges into three core subtypes of clientelism (“vote-buying”, “relational”, and “collective”); principal component analysis delivers two fundamental dimensions of clientelism: equal-unequal and individual-universal. We show that the two dimensions are associated with different aspects of client welfare and trade-offs from the client perspective. Our results reaffirm and reconcile existing deductive typologies of clientelism and can serve as a basis for a structured study of the demand side of clientelism.
Keywords: Clientelism, typology, client welfare, political ethnography, meta-analysis
Poor People’s Beliefs and the Dynamics of Clientelism, Journal of Theoretical Politics, accepted January 2021, with Miquel Pellicer, Lindsay Benstead and Ellen Lust.
Why do some poor people engage in clientelism while others do not? Why does clientelism sometimes take traditional forms and sometimes more instrumental forms? We propose a formal model of clientelism that addresses these questions
focusing primarily on the citizen’s perspective. Citizens choose between supporting broad-based redistribution or engaging in clientelism. Introducing insights from social psychology, we study the interactions between citizen beliefs and values, and their political choices. Clientelism, political inefficacy and inequality legitimation beliefs reinforce each other leading to multiple equilibria. One of these resembles traditional clientelism, with disempowered clients that legitimize social inequalities. Community connectivity breaks this reinforcement mechanism and leads to another equilibrium where clientelism takes a modern, instrumental, form. The model delivers insights on the role of citizen beliefs for their bargaining power as well as for the persistence and transformation of clientelism. We illustrate the key
mechanisms with ethnographic literature on the topic
Keywords: Clientelism, social psychology, efficacy, inequality
Philosophy of Science Issues in Clientelism Research forthcoming in Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Political Science (co-authored by Harold Kincaid, Miquel Pellicer, and Eva Wegner.
Work in Progress
Court Performance and Citizen Attitudes Towards Fighting Corruption, revise and resubmit, co-authored by Leticia Barbabela, Miquel Pellicer, and Eva Wegner
Citizen Assessments of Clientelistic Practices in South Africa, revise and resubmit, co-authored by Miquel Pellicer, Eva Wegner, Markus Bayer, and Christian Tischmeyer
What is bad about clientelism? Citizen perceptions in poor communities in South Africa and Tunisia, under review, co-authored by Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner
Clientelism, Information Processing, and Accountability, co-authored by Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner
Citizen Demand for Different Types of Clientelism, co-authored by Miquel Pellicer and Eva Wegner