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Local Level Clientelism in Transition: A Comparison of Eastern Partnership Countries

Europe (Central and Eastern)
Comparative Politics
Government
Corruption
Sergiu Gherghina
University of Glasgow
Sergiu Gherghina
University of Glasgow
Clara Volintiru
The London School of Economics & Political Science
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Abstract

This paper explores clientelism’s incidence at the subnational level where captured resources can be linked directly to the beneficiaries. We account for public procurement in relation to preferential allocations, and for public service delivery as a measure of the social impact of clientelistic exchanges. Our study compares and contrasts the incidence of clientelism in the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries that share common preconditions for state capture (e.g. weak bureaucratic traditions, shallow public administration reforms, historical party-state interpenetration): Armenia, Azerbaidjan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The data is gathered through an original expert survey designed to disentangle the prevalence of specific forms of clientelistic capture and distribution in each of the case studies. This analysis shows how the contemporary political and institutional context shapes the specific capture and distribution mechanisms.