Journal Special Issue
Clientelist Politics and Development

FORTHCOMING SPECIAL ISSUE/COLLECTION IN WORLD DEVELOPMENT (journal), INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES ON OPEN ACCESS | Political clientelism — which reflects strategic, discretionary, and targeted exchange of private goods and services for political support to the incumbent — has characterised distributive politics in the Global South for decades. The conditional nature of exchange between political parties and voters, and the asymmetric balance of power between these actors, has been a distinctive feature of clientelism whereby politicians offer gifts (and promises) in pre-election times or benefits in post-election periods, in exchange for voter support.

A rich literature in political science and economics has studied clientelism, including consideration of underlying mechanisms and processes; correlates and contributing factors; and political, social, and economic consequences. Concerns about the use of public resources as a part of the clientelistic exchange has been widely studied.

The literature highlights the detrimental effects of clientelism on state capacity, efficient allocation of public resources, and accountability and governance. Understanding clientelism, its causes, and consequences is thus crucial from an economic, social, and political perspective.