Brokering Democracy in Africa: The Rise of Clientelist by Linda J. Beck (auth.)

By Linda J. Beck (auth.)

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Not everyone would agree with this classification. Liberalism, after all, opposes not only political tyranny that infringes on civil liberties, but also political arbitrariness that liberalism attempts to guard against by making a clear distinction between the public and private sphere and by treating all citizens impartially according to an established legal code. 1 Schedler’s Typology of Regimes Regime Type Authoritarian Rule Electoral Democracy Liberal Democracy Advanced Democracy No Yes Yes Yes No No Yes Yes No No No Yes Defining Characteristics Free and Fair Elections Protection of Civil Liberties Absence of Structural Deficits political principles—political equality, republicanism, and rule of law—that are commonly associated with liberalism and thus liberal democracy, which are arguably in inherent contradiction with clientelism.

Despite the inequalities stemming from, if not inherent in, most clientelist relations, political equality remains a guiding principle reflected in the constitutions, C l i e n t e l i s t D e mo c r ac y 33 laws, and electoral codes of clientelist democracies. African regimes, for example, have been described as neo-patrimonial precisely because in their contemporary form, the clientelist relationships characteristic of Weber’s classic form of patrimonialism pervade the formal political and administrative system (Bratton and van de Walle 1997; Lemarchand 1988).

For example, throughout the period of de facto one-party rule under President Senghor, the ruling party distributed resources not merely to generate support in uncontested, basically symbolic elections, but to maintain its authority in order to implement public policies without relying on coercion. With democratization, of course, the provision of patronage resources to assure electoral support took on greater significance (chapter 2). Nevertheless, PS patrons and their successors in the PDS have not been concerned solely with gaining their clients’ vote, but also with maintaining political support C l i e n t e l i s t D e mo c r ac y 27 beyond the electoral process in order to assure their capacity to govern.

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