The Path from Neopatrimonialism: Democracy and Clientelism in Africa Today
van de Walle, Nicolas
The paper explores the impact of recent democratization in Africa on political clientelism in Sub Saharan Africa. It argues that clientelism is a ubiquitous feature of modern politics and is unlikely to disappear soon, but it shows that the nature of clientelism varies according to the type of political regime. The neo-patrimonial clientelism that has dominated post-colonial Africa is deeply incompatible with democratic politics and the paper predicts that successful democratization will change its dynamics. The paper suggests that the main obstacles to this successful transition towards a more democratic clientelism are likely to be the region's economic stagnation and the deeply ingrained habits and expectations of politicians.
Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies
Sub-Saharan Africa; Clientelism; Colonialism; Patrimony; Democracy; Corruption