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It has long been recognized that clientelism and the misuse of public office for private gain feed upon each other.1 When politicians design and implement policies with the aim of generating income and political support for themselves , a vicious circle consolidates in which public services become an instrument “to generate revenue which can then be appropriated by politicians through various means such as bribes and kickbacks, or left to clients as remuneration for politicalsupport”(Kurer1993,262).Theassumptionthatclientelism is strongly associated with governmental corruption is so widespread that in some studies the two phenomena are used interchangeably.2 A few recent studies have begun to explore the relationship between corruption and clientelism (Kawata 2006). Szeftel (2000), for example, argues that patron–client relations in Africa are for the most part responsible for the corruption that affects the region. Singer (2009) further argues that because clientelism undermines the ability of citizens to hold public officials accountable, it fosters corruption. In these accounts, corruption is an outcome of clientelism. Yet this direction of causation is unlikely to tell the complete story. Despite the centrality of corruption and clientelism to the governance deficit afflicting many countries in the developing world, how public corruption affects citizens’ willingness to engage in patron–client relations remains largely unexplored. In this chapter, I show that citizens’ perceptions of corruption among public officials make them more likely to believe that their communities are rife with vote selling and more willing to sell their own votes. The misconduct of public officials is thus pernicious to democracy not only because corrupt politicians can use misappropriated resources to strengthen their clientelist networks (Della Porta and Vannucci 1997), but also because corruption can lead to citizens’ 8 How Governmental Corruption Breeds Clientelism ANA DE LA O 182 Mexico’s Evolving Democracy dissatisfaction with the political system (Anderson and Tverdova 2003; Mishler and Rose 2001; Morris and Klesner 2010; Pharr 2000), as well as make citizens skeptical of their political institutions (Clausen, Kraay, and Nyiri 2011), driving them to find clientelism more appealing (Cleary and Stokes 2006). It is perhaps no surprise that the relationship between corruption—understood as the misuse of public office for private benefit—and clientelism—“the direct exchange of a citizen’s vote in return for direct payment or continuing access to employment, goods, and services” (Kitschelt and Wilkinson 2007)—is a social trap. To date, scholars have suggested that when public officials perceive that others in the public sector are engaged in corrupt behavior, they find fewer reasons not to engage in corruption themselves (Rothstein 2005). Similarly, however , if citizens perceive that politicians are corrupt, they may find less reason to value programmatic politics over clientelist appeals. Therefore understanding how corruption leads to clientelism is particularly relevant to getting a fix on the governance problem posed by machine politics. The context of this chapter is Mexico’s 2012 presidential election, which marked the return of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) to the presidency after twelve years of National Action Party (PAN) administrations. President Enrique Peña Nieto garnered 38% of the vote. The runner up, leftist politician Andrés Manuel López Obrador, garnered 31% of the vote. Despite a margin of victory of seven percentage points, allegations that the PRI bought five million votes tainted the election. To date, the extent to which clientelism influenced election results remains a controversial issue (see the introduction to this volume for more details on the election). This chapter contributes to two strands of literature that have developed separately. One is the literature that shows that the misconduct of public officials has a negative effect on democracy. Scholarship over the last decade provides ample evidence that corruption leads citizens to question the legitimacy of their political system (Seligson 2002), erodes citizens’ confidence in government and trust in political institutions (Anderson and Tverdova 2003; Mishler and Rose 2001; Morris and Klesner 2010; Pharr 2000), and casts doubts about the effective enjoyment of legally sanctioned rights (Della Porta and Vannucci 1997). Maladministration also has behavioral consequences. Corruption drives voters away from the voting booth (Chong, De La O, Karlan, and Wantchekon 2011; McCann and Domínguez 1998) but induces a greater inclination to participate in antigovernment protests (Gingerich 2009). The other strand of literature is the vast scholarship on clientelism, where various determinants of vote buying have been studied, including poverty, partisanship (Díaz-Cayeros, How Governmental Corruption Breeds Clientelism 183 Estévez, and Magaloni 2007, 2009; Kitschelt and Wilkinson 2007; Magaloni, D...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781421415550
Related ISBN
9781421415543
MARC Record
OCLC
899212335
Pages
304
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-03
Language
English
Open Access
No
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