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Clients and ConstituentsPolitical Responsiveness in Patronage Democracies$
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Jennifer Bussell

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190945398

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190945398.001.0001

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Partisan Targeting and Local Distributive Politics

Partisan Targeting and Local Distributive Politics

(p.168) 6 Partisan Targeting and Local Distributive Politics
Clients and Constituents

Jennifer Bussell

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 presents the first set of empirical analyses focused on politics at the local level. Drawing on close-range qualitative shadowing of local council presidents and surveys of both presidents and citizens, it documents the close relationships these elected officials have with their constituents. This analysis suggests considerable responsiveness of local politicians to citizens, often highlighting a form of local constituency service that has not been sufficiently described in many prior accounts. However, it also underlines the partisan nature of local politics and the ways in which partisanship is emphasized, especially by those presidents who share the party of the more senior state legislator in their area. The chapter documents the implications of this partisanship for contingent distribution, showing that individuals who do not share partisan ties with their village council president tend to be locally blocked—in particular, they are less likely to receive benefits from the local council.

Keywords:   local politics, partisanship, constituency service, blocking, shadowing, survey

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