Persuasion and Coercion in the Clientelistic Exchange: A Survey of Four Argentine Provinces

Carlos M. Lisoni


How do political parties guarantee enforcement of a clientelistic exchange? This research note empirically supports a catalog of clientelism compliance enforcement tactics. It also suggests that by focusing on the personalization of tactics and the constraints they place on individual voters, we can evaluate how intrusive these tactics are and further help to bridge existing instrumentalist and reciprocity theories of client compliance. The supporting evidence comes from interviews carried out with 73 elected Argentine local and provincial officials. How persuasive or coercive the tactics need to be to make clients comply with their part of the bargain has implications for our understanding of the legitimacy of the clientelistic bondage and our assessment of the roles of patrons and brokers in such exchanges.

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