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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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Access to Services in a Patronage Democracy

Access to Services in a Patronage Democracy

The Case of India

(p.134) 5 Access to Services in a Patronage Democracy
Clients and Constituents

Jennifer Bussell

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a discussion of service provision in India, to set the context for an analysis of distributive politics and, in particular, constituency service, in a patronage democracy. It lays out the features of India’s political economy that continue to lead us to describe it as a patronage democracy. It then outlines the characteristics of India’s primary political, bureaucratic, and social institutions, considering the formal roles and responsibilities of key actors at all levels of government with regard to distributive politics and their informal powers over distribution, at the national, state, and local levels. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the potential for constituency service in India from the perspective of prevailing theories, considering in particular the character of political institutions, the nature of electoral and party politics, and the dynamics that may—or may not—encourage politicians to build personal reputations for responsiveness.

Keywords:   India, patronage democracy, political influence, bureaucracy, distributive politics, constituency service, personal vote

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