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Comments on Bardhan , Mitra , Mookherjee & Nath. Steven Wilkinson Yale University. Distinction between Clientelistic and Programmatic politics.

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comments on bardhan mitra mookherjee nath

Comments on Bardhan, Mitra, Mookherjee & Nath

Steven Wilkinson

Yale University

distinction between clientelistic and programmatic politics
Distinction between Clientelistic and Programmatic politics
  • Clientelistic competition: a transaction or series of transactions, the direct exchange of a citizen’s vote in return for direct payments or continuing access to employment, goods and services (Kitschelt & Wilkinson 2007).
  • Programmatic party competition is a system in which politicians are elected on the basis of programs and policies that they implement ‘‘as a matter of codified universalistic public policy applying to all members of a constituency, regardless of whether a particular individual supported or opposed the party that pushed for the rent-serving policy’ (Kitschelt 1999)”.
where do we find clientelism
Where do we find clientelism?
  • Development and rising incomes not the miracle cure…
  • Institutional rules that focus on personal attributes (PR, Party lists vs. FPTP, Multiple Candidates).
  • Ethnically heterogeneous environments (Miguel & Gugerty 2005).
  • Lower income environments.
  • Bureaucratic autonomy before mass political mobilization (Shefter, 1977).
when do systems change
When do systems change?
  • First, as economies become more developed, the kinds of goods that people demand from government, such as better regulation or the provision of complex technologies and services, simply become too difficult to secure from individual patrons in the traditional manner(Kitschelt & Wilkinson, 2007)
  • Second, economic development creates a larger number of middle-class who have the leisure and organization to protest effectively and are also more likely to be indifferent to the costs imposed on them when they opt out of patronage networks.
  • Third, growing educated middle class is likely to be more informed about the many negative aspects of patronage and possess more information on the advantages of generalized reforms.
us experience 1890s 1910s
US experience 1890s-1910s

In a competitive party system, once a significant portion of the electorate (about twenty per cent) heavily prioritized reforms to patronage, political party dynamics did the rest.

Individual parties will calculate that they have more to gain by offering a pro-reform agenda—or (more likely) a mixture of reform and patronage—than by engaging in traditional patronage politics.

specific comments on bmmn
Specific comments on BMMN
  • Clientelism is instrumental and affective, individual and group, short term and long term payoffs.
  • Most measures/studies don’t capture this.
  • BMMN do a very nice job here on capturing many of these aspects.
is the apparent declining effectiveness of lf clientelism real
Is the apparent declining effectiveness of LF clientelism real?
  • Is vote for TMC because voters don’t like LF’s promises/clientelistic goods, or because they don’t believe they will be paid?
  • Observationally equivalent.
  • 2009 parliamentary results & bye elections important here (TMC won 7/7, CPM lost 5/5).
where s the dynamic party competition
Where’s the (dynamic) party competition?
  • Unobserved part of the equation is party campaigning, propaganda, spending by opposition.
  • This crucially affects perceptions of leaders/performance/governance, etc.
  • No good measures for this.