Definition of clientelism in English:


(also clientism)


  • A social order that depends upon relations of patronage; in particular, a political approach that emphasizes or exploits such relations.

    • ‘He is currently examining the influence of clientelism on government decision making in democracies.’
    • ‘This clientelism threatens the well-being and security of the urban and rural poor and prevents the state from obtaining funds for its developmental and revenue functions.’
    • ‘Had it governed in a more universal, traditionally social democratic fashion, this would have undermined the clientelism on which the party so heavily relied.’
    • ‘Our adversarial legal system coupled with political clientism was unable to deal with it.’
    • ‘Kin played a major role in such arrangements, they add, finding ‘the social organization of whole families into grids of clientelism.’’
    • ‘These are some the more complex aspects of corruption, related to the conflict of interest, clientelism, nepotism.’
    • ‘The country still suffers from extensive clientelism, patronage, and corruption in anything the government does.’
    • ‘Novel aspects of state society relations such as clientelism and patrimonialism were opened up to inquiry.’
    • ‘In other words, such critical theorists perpetuate what he calls ‘institutional clientism.’’
    • ‘Most of our administrative structures have been framed to take account of brokerage and clientelism, posh terms for getting the man you know to fix things.’
    • ‘In the context of patrimonial politics and a warlord economy, an important key to understanding child clientism is the ideology of dependency in this cultural region.’
    • ‘Internal divisions, conflict, and factionalism tend to reflect the local face of clientelism.’
    • ‘In addition, clientelism and strong regional variations made formal and informal discrimination almost inevitable and highly difficult to police, even if the will to do so had existed.’
    • ‘And you realise very quickly that we don't incentivise people to get involved in our political process because it's all clientelism.’
    • ‘Extended kinship relations may create clientelism and protectionism as well as organized crime.’
    • ‘It will be necessary if only to protect the system from the effects of clientelism exercised from abroad and corruption within.’
    • ‘Political clientelism brought public and private interests together and was a central feature in the consolidation of the modern state.’
    • ‘For decades, even generations, clientism has driven the relationship between politicians and local authorities, health boards, State agencies and semi-State commercial companies.’
    • ‘This would be consistent with the idea of armed clientelism.’
    • ‘This was particularly the case because those benefits came wrapped in a discourse of clientelism, rather than a discourse of entitlement.’


1970s: from Italian clientelismo patronage system.