The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

Clientelism in small states: how smallness influences patron-client networks in the Caribbean and the Pacific

Clientelism in small states: how smallness influences patron-client networks in the Caribbean and the Pacific
Clientelism in small states: how smallness influences patron-client networks in the Caribbean and the Pacific
Studies of clientelism increasingly focus on the brokers, networks and party machines that make clientelism work in mass democracies. This article highlights the different forms clientelistic politics can take by looking at small, rather than large, democracies in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Countries in both regions experience considerable clientelistic politics, but without the same dependence on brokers, networks and party machines. Based on extensive fieldwork in 15 different Caribbean and Pacific small states, resulting in over 200 interviews, we uncover how clientelism is practised in these hitherto neglected cases. We find that the size of these states contributes to the emergence of clientelistic relations based on (1) the ‘face-to-face’ connections and overlapping role relations between citizens and politicians, (2) politicians’ electoral dependence on a very small number of votes, and (3) enhanced opportunities for monitoring and controlling clientelistic exchanges. Smallness is furthermore found to limit, albeit not entirely dispense with, the need for brokers, networks and party machines, and to amplify the power of clients vis-à-vis their patrons, altering the nature and dynamics of clientelism in important ways. In a final section we discuss how clientelism contributes to other dominant trends in small state politics: personalism and executive domination.
Caribbean, Clientelism, Pacific Islands, personalistic politics, small states
1351-0347
61-80
Veenendaal, Wouter
230cf0c6-70cb-465d-8664-2ec9798bcdb0
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2
Veenendaal, Wouter
230cf0c6-70cb-465d-8664-2ec9798bcdb0
Corbett, Jack
ad651655-ac70-4072-a36f-92165e296ce2

Veenendaal, Wouter and Corbett, Jack (2020) Clientelism in small states: how smallness influences patron-client networks in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Democratization, 27 (1), 61-80. (doi:10.1080/13510347.2019.1631806).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Studies of clientelism increasingly focus on the brokers, networks and party machines that make clientelism work in mass democracies. This article highlights the different forms clientelistic politics can take by looking at small, rather than large, democracies in the Caribbean and the Pacific. Countries in both regions experience considerable clientelistic politics, but without the same dependence on brokers, networks and party machines. Based on extensive fieldwork in 15 different Caribbean and Pacific small states, resulting in over 200 interviews, we uncover how clientelism is practised in these hitherto neglected cases. We find that the size of these states contributes to the emergence of clientelistic relations based on (1) the ‘face-to-face’ connections and overlapping role relations between citizens and politicians, (2) politicians’ electoral dependence on a very small number of votes, and (3) enhanced opportunities for monitoring and controlling clientelistic exchanges. Smallness is furthermore found to limit, albeit not entirely dispense with, the need for brokers, networks and party machines, and to amplify the power of clients vis-à-vis their patrons, altering the nature and dynamics of clientelism in important ways. In a final section we discuss how clientelism contributes to other dominant trends in small state politics: personalism and executive domination.

Text
Revised Manuscript File - FDEM-2018-0305-R2 - Accepted Manuscript
Download (63kB)

More information

Accepted/In Press date: 23 May 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 18 November 2019
Published date: 2020
Keywords: Caribbean, Clientelism, Pacific Islands, personalistic politics, small states

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 431926
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/431926
ISSN: 1351-0347
PURE UUID: 556eeba9-480c-4032-8e22-fba44208c928
ORCID for Jack Corbett: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-2005-7162

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 21 Jun 2019 16:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 17:25

Export record

Altmetrics

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton: eprints@soton.ac.uk

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/cgi/oai2

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.

×