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Clientelism is a selective, particularistic, and hierarchical mutual support system in which politicians and political parties offer material favors (such as jobs and goods) to electors in exchange for political support (usually in the form of votes). It is selective and particularistic because it is targeted toward an exclusive group of voters based on their political preferences, thereby discriminating against the remainder of the society. This entry provides a brief overview of clientelism by highlighting why we study clientelism and the conceptualization, determinants, and varieties of clientelism and concludes with a brief discussion of the political effects of clientelism.

Why Study Clientelism?

Understanding the main linkages, determinants, and repercussions of clientelism is helpful to grasp the political realities and power dynamics of many countries throughout the world. ...

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