Political Clientelism

Susan C. Stokes

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Politics

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780199566020
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Political Clientelism

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  • Comparative Politics
  • Political Behaviour



This article studies political clientelism. In the first section, the term clientelism can be defined as giving material goods in return for electoral support, where the criterion of distribution that the patron uses is simply: did you/will you support me? This section includes definitions of vote buying and patronage. The two waves of studies of clientelism and the link between clientelism and commitment are discussed in the subsequent sections. In the latter half of the article, the discussion tries to determine if clients are swing voters or core supporters, and looks at the causes and consequences of clientelism.

Keywords: political clientelism; electoral support; vote buying; patronage; studies; commitment; swing voters; core supporters; causes; consequences

Article.  11360 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Comparative Politics ; Political Behaviour

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