To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Chapter 9 concludes Mobilizing for Elections by reiterating the volume’s core arguments and contributions, then by exploring the potential extension of its framework to other cases, including the possibility of expanding the typology of electoral mobilization regimes. Next, it reviews the implications of the book’s findings for democratic governance and discusses the opportunities for and limits of reform measures with potential to curtail patronage politics and improve the quality of democracy, including electoral-system reform to help shift polities from a candidate-centric to a party-centric focus. Additional reforms are also important, whether promoting bureaucratic capacity and autonomy or creating a more level electoral playing field.
Chapter 6 focuses on macro-particularism – the hijacking of programmatic policies. It highlights the difficulty of drawing a clear line between programmatic and patronage politics. It explains three forms of macro-particularism: credit-claiming (when a politician claims their individual intervention was critical to delivering a benefit to an individual or group); facilitation (when the politician actually does intervene to ensure delivery); and morselization (when the politicians breaks a program into bite-sized chunks and allocates them according to political criteria). The chapter explains that the three case-study countries present different mixes of these forms. Hijacking under Malaysia’s party-dominated system lacks incentives to allow morselization and so hijacking mostly involves credit-claiming and facilitation of benefits provided by the dominant party. The deeply entrenched local machines of the Philippines represent a system founded on discretion, hence, more morselization. Indonesia is mixed: some politicians, notably regional executives, enjoy discretion in allocating resources; legislators are still trying to expand access to state resources for hijacking.
Chapter 4 focuses on micro-particularism: distribution of money, goods, or services to individual voters and households in hopes of obtaining their electoral support. The chapter finds this practice is extremely common in Indonesia and the Philippines but is not entirely absent in Malaysia (especially East Malaysia). The micro-particularistic practice given the greatest attention in the literature is cash handouts; the chapter confirms that candidates in the Philippines and Indonesia devote much attention to how to distribute cash effectively. Despite the ubiquity of the term “vote buying,” the chapter finds that micro-particularism rarely involves straightforward market transactions, either in how disbursement is expressed culturally or in anticipated outcomes: these payments are generally not contingent patronage. The chapter reveals that candidates find cash handouts most valuable as a means of signaling that they are serious contenders (a process the chapter calls credibility buying) and protecting their presumed turf; most voters being targeted have, at best, tenuous loyalties to the candidates targeting them.
This chapter provides a historical-institutional account of the emergence of distinct electoral mobilization regimes in Southeast Asia. It does so by surveying the sequencing and development of the bureaucracy, parties, and electoral systems across Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In the Philippines, the focus is the early twentieth century, when US colonial authorities introduced elections before establishing a strong bureaucracy, enabling elite families to capture power and build local machines. Malaysia's regime is traced to its transition to independence and rise of an ethnically defined party that subordinated the bureaucracy to its patronage purposes. And in Indonesia, the key era is authoritarian rule in 1966–98, when patronage was centralized in the bureaucracy and parties marginalized. Over time, electoral and bureaucratic reform have tempered, but not displaced, those legacies. Only through comparative analysis of historical patterns of state–society relations, the chapter shows, can we understand cross-national differences in patronage and the networks through which it flows. The chapter also provides key context for readers unfamiliar with Southeast Asia.
This chapter focuses on how patronage politics interacts with the politics of identity, notably ethnicity, religion, gender, and class, across Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The chapter highlights rich variety of forms of patronage politics across these categories, co-existing with underlying similarity in function. Politicians cater to a wide range of social identities and target varied identity groups with patronage, showing immense creativity when doing so. But the underlying goal of such politicians across our highly diverse, multi-ethnic, and multi-religious contexts is fundamentally the same: to capture more votes using offers or promises of patronage. This instrumental process generally reinforces rather than erodes existing social identities (except, the chapter points out, those based on class, which clientelist politics tends to undermine by connecting lower-class recipients of patronage to higher-status dispensers of it). Even so, particularly where electoral systems encourage broadly inclusive strategies, patronage distribution regularly crosses identity-group boundaries and thus tends to bridge divides rather than promoting deeper within-group bonding.
This chapter examines the three distinct types of networks used for patronage distribution and election campaigning in the primary Southeast Asian countries studied in the volume: a party-based national patronage machine in Malaysia, local machines in the Philippines, and ad hoc patronage networks in Indonesia. In each case—albeit in different ways and with varying degrees of effectiveness—these networks play critical roles in helping politicians to recruit, organize, and reward their brokers; coordinate access to patronage; and manage campaign activities. A further common feature of these networks is their resemblance to the classic brokerage pyramid associated with clientelistic politics. On closer examination, however, the chapter finds they differ significantly in terms of their geographic scope and degree of institutionalization or permanence. The chapter considers how these distinct network types map onto the three major types of patronage to produce distinct electoral mobilization regimes and demonstrates how differences across these regimes stem from historical antecedents and institutional environments.
This chapter analyses variation in patronage politics at the subnational level in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Variation is apparent at two extremes: locales where politicians rely more intensely on patronage, often combining it with coercion; and “islands of exception,” generally urban areas, where programmatic appeals supplement or begin to supplant patronage. Explaining this variation, the chapter focuses on three variables: concentration of control over economic resources, levels of capacity of local state institutions, and relative autonomy and egalitarianism of local social networks. The mix of these three factors can provide politicians and citizens with options to escape the cycle of patronage politics, or may deepen citizens’ dependence on patronage and vulnerability to predatory politicians. These variables help explain subnational variation, including intense patronage relative to the rest of the country (e.g., in East Malaysia and Indonesian Papua), high coercion (e.g., in the Philippines’ Mindanao), and urban reform movements that push toward programmatic politics (e.g., in Penang in Malaysia, Surabaya in Indonesia, and Naga City in the Philippines).
Chapter 5 examines the patronage type found most consistently across Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines: meso-particularism (commonly called pork, club goods, or local public goods). This involves distribution of patronage to groups. The chapter distinguishes groups targeted with such patronage: networks of affect orient around religious, cultural, or other social purposes; networks of benefit are tied to income-generating, employment, or other material needs. The chapter explains when and how community-level elected officials act as key brokers in these exchanges. It identifies four reasons why candidates adopt meso-particularism: (1) it is less costly than dispensing cash or other individual patronage to voters; (2) it carries less social and legal stigma; (3) it allows politicians to provide benefits throughout the electoral cycle; (4) it promotes monitoring by focusing on groups rather than individuals. The chapter shows that meso-particularism rarely involves a clear quid pro quo; its value is in building a brand, buying credibility, and protecting turf. It involves contingent patronage only when candidates deal with group leaders able reliably to deliver followers’ votes.
This chapter introduces the research questions and framework that guide the volume. Explaining that the volume aims to understand variation in patterns of patronage politics across Southeast Asia, what causes that variation, and how patronage politics works on the ground, it begins by conceptually untangling patronage and clientelism. The chapter defines patronage as a material resource disbursed for particularistic benefit and political purposes, and clientelism as a personalistic relationship of power. It distinguishes among three types of patronage (micro, meso, and macro), the first involving disbursement of benefits to individuals, the second to groups, and the third referring to large-scale programs that are “hijacked” for particularistic purposes. The chapter also stresses that politicians draw on different types of political networks when distributing patronage, producing a logic whereby different mixes of patronage and networks cohere as distinct “electoral mobilization regimes.” The chapter introduces three such regimes found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and highlights the volume's theoretical contributions and scope and methods.
Politicians in Southeast Asia, as in many other regions, win elections by distributing cash, goods, jobs, projects, and other benefits to supporters, but the ways in which they do this vary tremendously, both across and within countries. Mobilizing for Elections presents a new framework for analyzing variation in patronage democracies, focusing on distinct forms of patronage and different networks through which it is distributed. The book draws on an extensive, multi-country, multi-year research effort involving interactions with hundreds of politicians and vote brokers, as well as surveys of voters and political campaigners across the region. Chapters explore how local machines in the Philippines, ad hoc election teams in Indonesia, and political parties in Malaysia pursue distinctive clusters of strategies of patronage distribution – what the authors term electoral mobilization regimes. In doing so, the book shows how and why patronage politics varies, and how it works on the ground.
In this chapter, I explore the influence of the patchwork state in variation in electoral competition. The chapter begins with presenting the dominant framework in South Asian politics, that of clientelism, and argues that historical variations in the structure of patronage, due to patchwork forms of Authority within India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh shapes the nature and consequences of electoral competition. Variations in the capacity of public officials to determine the distribution of patronage might explain a puzzle in India and Pakistani politics, that of variation in the number of parties in serious contention at the constituency level. The chapter then presents data on the effective number of parties (ENP) by postcolonial governance categories in India and Pakistan, and explores Bangladesh’s exception to patchwork state dynamics. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the relationship among elections, violence, and the patchwork state.
The political connection between the state and firms in the context of China's corporate restructuring has been little explored. Using the clientelist framework and unpacking the incentives of both firms and the state, we analyse political connections as repeated patron–client exchanges where the politically connected firms can help the state fulfil its revenue imperative, serving as a failsafe for local authorities to ensure that upper-level tax quotas are met. Leveraging original surveys of the same Chinese firms over an 11-year period and the variations in their post-restructuring board composition, we find that restructured state-owned enterprises (SOEs) with political connections pay more tax than their assessed amount, independent of profits, in exchange for more preferential access to key inputs and policy opportunities controlled by the state. Examining taxes rather than profits also offers a new interpretation for why China continues to favour its remaining SOEs even when they are less profitable.
Most of the poor in the developing world work in the informal economy, that is, in occupations that take place outside of the legal system of taxing, spending, and regulating. This article examines how informal work impacts the policy and electoral preferences of the poor. We emphasize the importance of the risks inherent in informal employment in shaping the responsiveness of citizens to clientelism and their policy and voting preferences. Since most informal workers are not covered by (formal) social insurance, they prefer material goods and candidates that produce targeted, clientelistic benefits rather than programmatically delivered insurance that is unlikely to reach them. As a result, we argue that informal workers are more likely to rely on clientelistic relations as a means of hedging risks than are formal workers; prefer policies that are delivered clientelistically via political mediators rather than programmatic solutions; and prefer clientelistic over programmatic local candidates. Our findings elucidate why the preferences of poor informal workers often diverge from those assumed by standard models of social insurance and have important implications for the political economy of social policy in a world where billions work outside work-based tax-transfer systems.
Studies of electoral clientelism—the contingent exchange of material benefits for electoral support—frequently presume the presence of strong parties. Parties facilitate monitoring and enforcement of vote buying and allow brokers to identify core voters for turnout buying. Where money fuels campaigns but elections center around candidates, not parties, how do candidates pitch electoral handouts? The authors analyze candidates’ distribution of cash during an Indonesian election. Drawing upon varied data, including surveys of voters and brokers, candidates’ cash-distribution lists, and focus-group discussions, they find heavy spending but little evidence of vote buying or turnout buying. Instead, candidates buy brokers. With little loyalty or party brand to draw on, candidates seek to establish credibility with well-networked brokers, who then protect their turf with token payments for their own presumed bloc of voters. The authors find little evidence of monitoring of either voter or broker behavior, which is consistent with their argument that these payments are noncontingent.
Unidad Nacional de la Esperanza (National Unit of Hope, UNE) has been Guatemala’s most successful electoral vehicle in the democratic period. The UNE’s architects aimed to construct a programmatic and institutionalized political party. However, it is a formation that has much more in common with the modal Guatemalan electoral vehicle. An empirical evaluation of the UNE’s horizontal coordination and vertical aggregation capabilities reveals that, as an organization, it fails along both dimensions. Central-to-local party coordination, campaign strategy harmonization, and party loyalty in the legislature are limited. Pervasive factionalism within the UNE, weak mechanisms of harmonization, as well as the autonomy of local and regional caudillos, restrict possibilities for horizontal coordination. The UNE did construct an intertemporally loyal clientele of voters via a politicized cash-transfer program. But its ability to represent and develop organic linkages with society were limited by the stranglehold of party financiers, the absence of encompassing societal mobilizing structures, the abysmal disparity in relational power between the private sector and social sectors, and other factors.
The Paraguayan party system, centered on two 132-year-old parties seemingly poised to remain alive and well for years to come, constitutes an anomaly in Latin America. This chapter discusses the evolution of the Paraguayan traditional parties highlighting their changes and continuities in two different historical settings: the nondemocratic period, which includes a semi-competitive (1870–1940) and a dictatorial subperiod (1954–89) and the post-1989 democratic period. The findings point to three distinctive features of the Paraguayan party system: the ability of the traditional parties to plant deep roots into the country’s social structure facilitated by historic and institutional factors; the capacity of the parties to aggregate in a clientelist mode the interests of a population that lacks strong collective actors, made possible by a socioeconomic societal matrix; and the versatility with which parties have coordinated interests, both in semi-democratic as well as in democratic settings, which includes electoral mobilization but also civilian recruitment for armed uprisings. Finally, the chapter discusses possible future trends in light of the growing influence of illegal financing and recent changes to the rules governing elections mandating the system of “open lists.”
Do labor unions still motivate their members to participate in politics, or have social and economic changes undermined their political importance? This question is important to revisit, as globalization and economic reform have weakened many popular sector organizations in Latin America, reducing some to mere patronage machines. This article examines the case of the teachers’ union in Bogotá, Colombia to assess whether and how labor unions are able to promote the political activation of their members. Employing a multimethod research design that begins with a quantitative analysis of a survey of Colombian teachers, this study finds that union affiliation is associated with higher levels of motivation to vote. It then uses evidence from interviews to show how union advocacy and internal elections for leadership positions shape political behavior, contributing to civic engagement. This research engages with broader debates about democratic quality and political representation in contemporary Latin America.
Elections are moments when political hierarchies and differences become more visible and more contestable. Chapter 8 examines how the people’s parliaments responded to the 2013 General Elections in Mombasa. It reveals how instrumental and personalised political campaigns had a tense but mutually constitutive relationship with everyday publics. The intrigues of electoral competition sparked interest in public discussion and made it seem relevant to people’s everyday lives, while at the same time sharpening the contours of debate. A key finding concerns the challenges that faced civil society campaigns in attempting to realise changed discourses. This chapter argues that peace narratives purported by civil society in 2013 struggled to shift deep-set shared imaginaries. Explicitly non-partisan civil society groups struggled to keep out partisan competition as it was a source of perceived individual agency in politics. Also, formal structures were easily instrumentalised by politicians within their campaigns.