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Clients and constituents: political responsiveness in patronage democracies

By: Bussell, Jennifer.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New Delhi Oxford University Press 2019Description: xvi, 369 p. Includes index.ISBN: 9780190082109.Subject(s): Political patronage - India | Patron and client | Democracy | Politics and governmentDDC classification: 324.204 Summary: This book provides a theoretical and empirical examination of constituency service in developing countries. The predominant view of distributive politics in “patronage democracies” emphasizes the partisan targeting of pork and clientelism. In contrast, this book demonstrates that high-level legislators in India and other contexts often provide direct, nonpartisan assistance to individual constituents. Under what conditions do they provide constituency service, rather than engage in partisan bias? The book shows that the uneven character of access to services at the local level—often because of biased allocation on the part of local intermediaries—generates demand for help from higher-level officials, and also creates incentives for those politicians to bypass intermediaries by providing direct assistance. It draws on elite and citizen surveys, interviews, qualitative shadowing, and experiments to explore the dynamics of both the demand for constituency service and its supply. The book’s findings highlight the potential for an underappreciated form of democratic accountability, one that is however rooted in the character of patronage-based politics. https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190945398.001.0001/oso-9780190945398
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Books Vikram Sarabhai Library
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Slot 469 (0 Floor, West Wing) Non-fiction 324.204 B8C5 (Browse shelf) Checked out 13/10/2020 201006

Table of contents

Front Matter
Part I The Puzzle of Constituency Service
1 Introduction
2 Political Responsiveness in a Patronage Democracy
3 The Provision of Constituency Service
Part II The Sources of Constituency Service
4 Clients or Constituents?
5 Access to Services in a Patronage Democracy
6 Partisan Targeting and Local Distributive Politics
7 Local Blocking and Appeals for Assistance
8 Partisanship, the Personal Vote, and Constituency Service
9 Which Politicians Respond?
10 When Is Responsiveness Partisan Bias?
Part III The Significance of Constituency Service
11 Constituency Service in Comparative Perspective
12 Conclusion
End Matter

This book provides a theoretical and empirical examination of constituency service in developing countries. The predominant view of distributive politics in “patronage democracies” emphasizes the partisan targeting of pork and clientelism. In contrast, this book demonstrates that high-level legislators in India and other contexts often provide direct, nonpartisan assistance to individual constituents. Under what conditions do they provide constituency service, rather than engage in partisan bias? The book shows that the uneven character of access to services at the local level—often because of biased allocation on the part of local intermediaries—generates demand for help from higher-level officials, and also creates incentives for those politicians to bypass intermediaries by providing direct assistance. It draws on elite and citizen surveys, interviews, qualitative shadowing, and experiments to explore the dynamics of both the demand for constituency service and its supply. The book’s findings highlight the potential for an underappreciated form of democratic accountability, one that is however rooted in the character of patronage-based politics.

https://www.oxfordscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190945398.001.0001/oso-9780190945398

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