Clientelism, Social Policy, and the Quality of Democracy

International Forum for Democratic Studies Book

Clientelism, Social Policy, and the Quality of Democracy“There are many reasons for the failure of democracy, but one of the most significant factors is bad governance….the individual benefits that collectively constitute social policy, such as income support, health care, educational access, jobs, and job training, are not allocated based on need or ability. Rather, in each of these instances and in many other realms of public policy, something intervenes to undermine the fair and efficient distribution of public resources. Usually, that ‘something’ prominently includes political clientelism, a persistent pattern in which officeholders exchange state benefits for political support and loyalty.” —Larry Diamond, co-editor

Clientelism, Social Policy, and the Quality of Democracy explores how political clientelism works and evolves in the context of modern developing democracies in Latin America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Eastern and Central Europe.

Special thanks to the Ford Foundation, the Center for Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law at Stanford University, and the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy for supporting the November 2010 conference which generated the research included in this book. The Forum is also grateful to Grupo FARO for cosponsoring the original conference, as well as the researchers from the Network of Democracy Research Institutes who participated in this project.

Contributors: Diego Abente Brun, Larry Diamond, Javier Auyero, Ernesto Calvo, Christopher Chambers-Ju, Kanchan Chandra, Linda J. Cook, Kent Eaton, Paul D. Hutchcroft, Juan Pablo Luna, Beatriz Magaloni, Rodrigo Mardones, Carlos Meléndez, María Victoria Murillo, Simeon Nichter, Martin Tanaka, Nicolas Van de Walle


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“Polticial Clientelism, Social Policy, and the Quality of Democracy,” Conference Report, Quito, Ecuador (Nov. 5-6, 2010)