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Conditionality and Coercion: Electoral clientelism in Eastern Europe

Wednesday, April 12, 2017, 1:30 pm – 3:10 pm

Isabela Mares
Professor of Political Science, Columbia University, New York 

Conditionality and Coercion, a joint project with Lauren Young (Stanford University)

Students of political parties draw a sharp theoretical distinction among programmatic and clientelistic linkages between candidates and citizens. In this study, we argue that this distinction is much weaker than assumed and that candidates rely on a variety of clientelistic strategies to signal voters various personal attributes and various policy positions. We draw on qualitative and survey-based research from several Eastern European democracies to document how candidates use various forms of electoral clientelism to signal various policy positions and also influence electoral choices of voters not targeted by various forms of clientelism. This analytical framework also allows us to understand the mixes of clientelistic strategies used by candidates competing in constituencies with different economic and political characteristics.

Isabela Mares is Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. She is currently serving as President of the Political Economy Section of the American Political Science Association. She is the author of The Politics of Social Risk: Business and Welfare State Development (New York: Cambridge University Press 2003), Taxation, Wage Bargaining and Unemployment (New York: Cambridge University Press 2006) and From Open Secrets from Secret Ballots (New York: Cambridge University Press 2014). The talk draws on her forthcoming book Conditionality and Coercion (with Lauren Young).