Clientelism and Cleavage Badinage.

  1. Good morning,
  2. Professor.
  3. May I?
  5. Enter.
  6. Come in.
  7. What brings you by?
  8. It’s all cleavage these days!
  9. Cleavage. Cleavage. Cleavage.
  10. Show me the reason,
  11. ‘Tis all cleavage,
  12. In political science.
  13. I’m snared!
  14. Cleavage—to cling to. To chop in half.
  15.      Cleavages that cut. Noun. 18th century. Geological terms—
  16.       If you put it under pressure, ‘twill break—separate forms.
  17.             Cleavages: where a society will break, separate norms.
  18.             Cleavages may be determinable and predictable, be assured.
  19.                    Here’s a cleavage: those religious and those ‘at ‘re secular.
  20. How about workers versus owners,
  21. or,
  22. The city dweller versus the farmer?
  23. Right! So imagine that there are two recurring models of parties,
  24.      ‘at are based on either dimension, or, cleavage.
  25. Depending on the model, which depend on circumstances,
  26.      Differing factions will be branded. For instance,
  27.             For dimension, see progressive or conservative.
  28.             For cleavage, see atheist or evangelical inhabitants.
  29. So cleavages explain political parties?
  30. Indeed, Lipset and Rokkan [1967],[1]
  31.      Wrote about the west European party system;
  32.             That the 19th and early 20th century drums,
  33.             Manifested national and industrial revolutions,
  34.                    And from these we find—four cleavages:
  35.                              Centre/periphery, religious/secular,
  36.                              Urban/rural, and capital/labor chasms.
  37.             Notably, the divisions that political scientists unearth in society,
  38.                    Appear to remain “frozen” alongside subsiding animosity.
  39. But society does change! Like you claim:
  40. Politics is like surfing! That you are observing,
  41. Constantly transforming and evolving mores. 
  43. Exactly! Now cleavages may form via many habits.
  44.       And actions by politicians may cause shifts, for instance,
  45. Institutional rules and configurations are causeways to shrifts;
  46.       The clinging that occurs in certain moments.
  47. Certain moments?
  48. Like the breaking down of the Berlin Wall—
  49.      That kind of burst that sent communism asunder.
  50. Whence voters must choose new parties, because,
  51.      The old parties did fall.
  52. How do voters choose
  53. New parties in the voting booths?
  54. To what clinging do the voters…
  55. Approve?
  56. Kitschelt clarifies 3 possible parties:
  57.      [in “The Structuring of Post-communist Party Systems”]
  58. They are: charismatic, clientelistic and programmatic.
  59.             From the collapse one of these new parties are arisen.
  60. One surfer goes home, and another checks in.
  61. Please expand.
  62. Charismatic:
  63.             Sympathy with the party’s candidate—
  64.             From charisma the party may easily organize,
  65.                  And avoid high costs to advertise.
  66.             Alas, unstable for two reasons:
  67.                   The singular personality shall die, and,
  68.                   Charisma cannot materially provide to satisfy,
  69.                         The denizen through time.
  70.             Thus these parties morph into another type.
  71. Clientelistic:
  72.             Expected personal and selective benefits—
  73.             They make patronage investments, and specialize in,
  74.                  Controlling and distributing the state’s resources.
  75.             Since the electorate only cares about received goods,
  76.                  There are low costs of political coordination,
  77.                         And they don’t need to iterate ideological notions.
  78.                  From this may arise political cynicism.
  79.                  ‘Specially when they work around the former rules,
  80.                         Of democratic competition.
  81.             Alas clientelistic parties decompose.
  82.   Once the people agree that politicians are circumventing,
  83.                         Encouraged to break the rule of law
  84.     That officials are quite different from their official role;
  85.        ‘Tis de facto anarchy, and the political parties, thus,
  86.              Are mostly frauds elected into power—into office.
  87.             Hence loads of voters will determine that politics is a farce.
  88.                 Thus again society shall eventually seize a moment,
  89.                       To form a new party—
  90.                 To start another attempt at reorganizing cleavages,
  91.                       And governing in ways that do the least harm.
  92. Programmatic:
  93.             Production of collective goods upon winning election—
  94.             Here is the highest cost of party coordination,
  95.                  Coupled with promises about ideas of societal formation.
  96.             Supporters thus need massive amounts of information,
  97.                   To determine which party should capture the opportunity,
  98.                         To enact long-term collective dilemma solutions.
  99.             Positively, programmatic parties provide one particular good:
  100.                    Democratic consolidation, competition, and stability,
  101.                                Within the statehood.
  102.             It’s almost like providing the surf boards…
  103. I’m interested in Clientelism
  104. Tell me more about,
  105. When and where that fits in.
  106. A. Hicken finds that clientelism is
  107.            A method of contingent exchange.[2]
  108. And..
  109. Clientelism is defined like democracy…
  110. As in Ode to Lijphart you explained?
  111. Yes. Sometimes it’s an adjective,
  112.        Other times ‘tis found as the logical noun.
  113. The definitions are often slightly different,
  114.                         Depending on how the study was bound.
  115. Hear: clientelist party system, clientelist political party,
  116.                    Clientelist politician.
  117. Besides: clientelism analyzed via dyadic relationships,
  118.                     Contingency, hierarchy, iteration, and perhaps, volition.
  119. Thanks for clarifying:
  120. Don’t complicate things.
  121. What does dyadic mean?
  122. First let me provide,
  123.      The overall clientelistic signs:
  124.             ‘Tis highly adaptable in various environmental veins;
  125.                  Cultural, economic, or political frames.
  126.             ‘Tis found in both democracies and autocracies,
  127.                  And many perceive,
  128.          That clientelism is a subverter—a perverter,
  129.                         of economic development and political streams.
  130.             Clientelism diverts scarce resources from the poor,
  131.                   Keeping them poor and dependant upon their tools,
  132.             Since it engages various shades of corruption,
  133.                   To manipulate the people and the system, thus,
  134.                         The people lose trust,
  135.                                In the democratic institutions.
  136. Very, very interesting.
  137. How does dyadic fit into the scheme?
  138. Dyadic relationships are binary ties.
  139.       As clientelism is often ‘tween a patron and one who buys,
  140.       Political scientists ascertain that there is a rapport,
  141.             ‘Tween a broker and a supporter.
  142. Is this then “dyadic social capital”?
  143. Let’s to clientelism close remain,
  144.      From dyadic relationships we next inspect contingency:
  145.              The patron-client exchange.
  146.       Clientelism needs contingency.
  147.               Without it: a façade describes a shallow affiliation.
  148.               Contingency present: clientelism is more likely authentic.
  149.               Contingency means that both sides deliver,
  150.                       Goods or services to be indulged by the other.
  151. The implications, I envisage,
  152. Are that non dyadic groups,
  153. The patrons will exclude,
  154. From politics and privileges.
  155. Always.
  156. So the government doesn’t solve,
  157. Collective action problems?
  158. Rather they create reciprocal bribery doors to revolve,
  159. Between economic and political doldrums?
  160. Contingency doesn’t specify which goods are to be exchanged.
  161.      Could be new cookware, for votes, or a job could be arranged.
  162. I’ll bet challengers rarely succeed,
  163. Since they would need,
  164. Tons of money to displace,
  165. The ones already,
  166. Stealing from the state.
  167. Say, Hierarchy is noted within clientelism,
  168.             Though it may be deduced at opposite ends.
  169. Most see it as top-down.
  170. A vertical dyadic patron power trip.
  171.             An asymmetric patron-client relationship.
  172.                         The patron has the information,
  173.                         The patron has the resources.
  174.                         The patron has the prestige, and…
  175.             The client exclaims gratitude for the electoral servitude.
  176.             Democratic accountability is at best a dissimilitude.
  177.                  Whence politicians and parties,
  178.                         Hold voters accountable for their formal attitudes.
  179. On the other hand, there are a few who choose to view,
  180.           That clientelism might be bottom-up,
  181.                         A principal-agent relationship.
  182.           And bottom-up is much more democratic, because,
  183.                         Voters do “throw the rascals out.”
  184. But professor, I can conceive,
  185. That a little bit of bribery,
  186. Occurs in many countries,
  187. In most elections.
  188. Is clientelism so widespread?
  189. Iteration keeps clientelism in most places away.
  190.             For clientelism to be found,
  191.                         We must see iteration proliferate:
  192.                                     Repeated interactions amidst
  193.                                          Future expectations.
  194.                                     Ongoing dyadic relationships amidst
  195.                                          Ongoing contingency exchanges.
  196.                                     Punishment for defectors amidst
  197.                                          Rewards for the protectors.
  198.                                     Social networks are consistently monitored,
  199.                                          [e.g., rally attendance and bumper stickers].
  200. So handing out pencils or flag-pins
  201. In a random election,
  202. Is no indication,
  203. Of clientelistic manifestations?
  204. Probably not. Volition via rational choice,
  205.             I should say,
  206.                      It may further clientelism explain.
  207.             Again imagine the reciprocal exchange,
  208.                         ‘Tween the patron and client engaged.
  209.                                     Mutual equilibrium may distinguish:
  210.                                                 Power/force, needs/demands, or,
  211.                                                      Voluntary obligations.
  212. So Clientelism burgeons during repeated patronage:
  213. Iterated vote buying for club benefits.
  214. But earlier you mentioned that clientelism may thrive
  215. In authoritarian and democratic governments?!
  216. In authoritarian regimes,
  217.             Clientelism quite likely builds voter dependency.
  218.                         Much hierarchy.
  219. But in a democracy,
  220.             Clientelism is useful for loyal supporter networking.
  221.                         Hierarchy is lean.
  222. Seems that clientelism is quite damaging.
  223. Appease me.
  224. Make it seem like a positive thing.
  226. Hmmm. [You’re quite an intelligent being…]
  227. Clientelism provides people with resources from the state,
  228.             To many more denizens and at very low rates,
  229.                         Than a dictator would allocate.
  230. Clientelism is a more efficient way,
  231.             To transfer national public goods to the local constituents’ place,
  232.                         Than an authoritarian would designate.
  233. [audible laughter]
  235. Clientelism isn’t capable of long-term sustainability [to be around],
  236.             With post-positivists like me activating and engaging,
  237.                Democratic yearnings—sounding an empirical beating,
  238.                           Clientelism empirically floundering,
  239.                                      Its apex crashing aground.
  240. For political scientists hold political opinions,
  241.             Based on evidence.
  242. Numerous legitimate studies link clientelism to corruption.
  243.     Indeed, we have even discovered causal scurges:
  244.             Most apparent: that vote buying is illegal for starters.
  245.             Most unfortunate: corruption breeds impunity and
  246.                         Silences honor.
  247.             Most bankrupting: more voters means more vote buying; hence,
  248.                         An increase of illegal / illicit revenue partners.
  249. I don’t care about clientelism anymore.
  251. Well remember the bigger lesson—perforce:
  252.      Cleavages upon new parties,
  253.      Clientelism upon corruption,
  254.               And the people’s electoral course.
  256. How long ‘till clientelism’s a bloody corpse?
  257. When a Ph.D. is like today’s High School Diploma,
  258.              Thenceforth, I pledge:
  259.                       Clientelism shall no longer anywhere be endorsed,
  260.                                Upon our earth.
  262. [lengthy soft laughter]
  264. But sir,
  265. If all on earth were all so educated,
  266. We’d pursue knowledge, instead.
  267. Money wouldn’t matter,
  268. Twilight this age of credit.
  269. [more soft laughter still]
  270. In so many meetings,
  271.      We finally agree [smiling].
  272. Please excuse me,
  273.      Time for surfing.

[1] This begins an analysis of: Kitschelt. 1995. Formation of Party Cleavages in Post-Communist Democracies: Theoretical Propositions. Party Politics, 1: 447.

[2] This begins an analysis of: Hicken. 2011. Clientelism. Annual Review of Political Science.


2 thoughts on “Clientelism and Cleavage Badinage.

  1. Pingback: Poli-Sci “Parties” Poetry Book « Political Pipeline

  2. Pingback: Surfing via Political Pipeline | Political Pipeline

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