Conditionality & Coercion Electoral clientelism in Eastern Europe

Auteur: Isabela Mares
Taal: Engels

Uitgever: Oxford University Press

  • Engels
  • Hardcover
  • 9780198832775
  • oktober 2019
  • 352 pagina's
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In many recent democracies, candidates compete for office using illegal strategies to influence voters. In Hungary and Romania, local actors including mayors and bureaucrats offer access to social policy benefits to voters who offer to support their preferred candidates, and they threaten others with the loss of a range of policy and private benefits for voting the wrong way. These quid pro quo exchanges are often called clientelism. How can politicians and their accomplices get away with such illegal campaigning in otherwise democratic, competitive elections? When do they rely on the worst forms of clientelism that involve threatening voters and manipulating public benefits? Conditionality and Coercion: Electoral Clientelism in Eastern Europe uses a mixed method approach to understand how illegal forms of campaigning including vote buying and electoral coercion persist in two democratic countries in the European Union. It argues that we must disaggregate clientelistic strategies based on whether they use public or private resources, and whether they involve positive promises or negative threats and coercion. We document that the type of clientelistic strategies that candidates and brokers use varies systematically across localities based on their underlying social coalitions. We also show that voters assess and sanction different forms of clientelism in different ways. Voters glean information about politicians' personal characteristics and their policy preferences from the clientelistic strategies these candidates deploy. Most voters judge candidates who use clientelism harshly. So how does clientelism, including its most odious coercive forms, persist in democratic systems? This book suggests that politicians can get away with clientelism by using forms of it that are in line with the policy preferences of constituencies whose votes they need. Clientelistic and programmatic strategies are not as distinct as previous have argued. Oxford Studies in Democratization is a series for scholars and students of comparative politics and related disciplines. Volumes concentrate on the comparative study of the democratization process that accompanied the decline and termination of the cold war. The geographical focus of the series is primarily Latin America, the Caribbean, Southern and Eastern Europe, and relevant experiences in Africa and Asia. The series editor is Laurence Whitehead, Senior Research Fellow, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.


This sophisticated, rigorous, and meticulously documented analysis demonstrates that clientelism takes a surprising variety of forms-and that coercion and voter intimidation, rather than voluntary exchange and favors, can fundamentally characterize these relationships. This fascinating and compelling study redefines our understanding of clientelism, coercion, and class politics. * Anna GrzymalaBusse, Stanford University * Combining evidence from largescale surveys and intensive fieldwork, Isabela Mares and Lauren Young show how and why politicians mix different clientelistic strategies-including crucially both persuasion and coercion-to signal their policy preferences. Scholars of clientelism and Eastern European politics will benefit equally from reading this outstanding book. * Thad Dunning, University of California Berkeley * Conditionality and Coercion fills an important gap in the study of clientelism by explaining when and why politicians use different strategies at their disposal, and particularly how they balance positive and negative inducements. Mares and Young's most novel theoretical intuition is that the choice of strategies sends informational signals to voters, extending the reach of any clientelistic exchange beyond its recipient. Policymakers and students of democracy have much to learn from this innovative book about the often subtle ways coercion is deployed for electoral gain. * Jessica Gottlieb, Texas A&M * Mares and Young deliver a theoretically incisive and methodologically innovative analysis of clientelistic practices in postcommunist polities that is obligatory reading for any student of electoral politics. It vividly demonstrates that different forms of clientelism, and particularly the prevalence of coercive modes of targeted political exchange, are embedded in distinctive social and political settings. Empirically, the authors base their analysis on some of the highestquality data ever collected in the study of clientelism, both through systematic surveys as well as through ethnographic work with hundreds of qualitative interviews yielding empirically and theoretically pertinent-if not shocking-insights. * Herbert Kitschelt, Duke University *



oktober 2019
Aantal pagina's
352 pagina's



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