Clientelism in Everyday Latin American Politics by T. Hilgers

By T. Hilgers

This publication improves understandings of the way and why clientelism endures in Latin the USA and why kingdom coverage is usually useless. Political scientists and sociologists, the participants hire ethnography, distinct interviews, case experiences, within-case and neighborhood comparability, thick descriptions, and strategy tracing.

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Indeed, in the literature those in control were identified as patrons (although they may be also addressed as mediators, agents, or brokers) and their partners as clients. The terms used originated in ancient republican Rome, where relationships of patrocinium and clientelae proliferated during the republic and into the empire (later on, they were subsumed under what some late medieval historians have called bastard feudalism). These terms found their way into the vernaculars of Mediterranean and Latin American societies, while other terms are used elsewhere (Roniger 1983; Roniger 2001, 11118–11120; Corzo Fernández 2002, 19–25).

Such positioning ignores several issues. First, politics, the exercise of power, is often nonrepresentative and coercive. Clientelism provides some access and representation to the subordinate actors, even within a hierarchy that disproportionately favors the politically powerful (Eckstein 1988). Thus a better opposite pole from a democratic inclusive politics is a coercive exclusive one that fully denies representation and access, and of which we may find many examples. I suggest that clientelism is better thought of as representing a middle position on this continuum, rather than one of its poles.

1999) find genuine, regular, and noncoerced competition among individuals and organizations for power through legitimate elections crucial to democratization. Intermediate organizations serve as demand makers within the democratic process of competition. The activity of interest groups refereed W h a t i s P ol i t ic s For? 47 by the state as an objective mediator is often idealized in pluralist conceptions of politics (Smith 2006). The key for associations to serve as genuine representatives is their capacity to forge and hold autonomy.

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