POLITICS: How Clientelism Actually Works


Clientelism is a political reality in much of Latin America. Political scientist Thad Dunning examines its modus operandi in Latin America and beyond.

In many parts of the developing world, political leaders provide goods and services to secure votes from their constituents. The conventional and theoretical logic of such clientelistic exchanges vary in scope and reach, often — but not exclusively — mediated and coordinated by on-the-ground brokers with extensive networks in their communities. In some settings, politicians or their brokers target the electorate at large, while in other cases these exchanges target particular voting groups, such as swing or absentee voters...

Carlos Schmidt Padilla
Publication date: 
August 19, 2015
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article