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Clientelism, Capitalism, and Democracy
The Rise of Programmatic Politics in the United States and Britain


  • Author: Didi Kuo, Stanford University, California
  • Date Published: October 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108426084

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • Political parties in the United States and Britain used clientelism and patronage to govern throughout the nineteenth century. By the twentieth century, however, parties in both countries shifted to programmatic competition. This book argues that capitalists were critical to this shift. Businesses developed new forms of corporate management and capitalist organization, and found clientelism inimical to economic development. Drawing on extensive archival research in the United States and Britain, this book shows how national business organizations pushed parties to adopt programmatic reforms, including administrative capacities and policy-centered campaigns. Parties then shifted from reliance on clientelism as a governing strategy in elections, policy distribution, and bureaucracy. They built modern party organizations and techniques of interest mediation and accommodation. This book provides a novel theory of capitalist interests against clientelism, and argues for a more rigorous understanding of the relationship between capitalism and political development.

    • Proposes a new theory of business opposition to clientelism and capitalist demands for programmatic party competition
    • Presents historical case studies of American and British political development
    • Unites diffuse literatures on business history and organization with state-building and democratization
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This marvelous book tackles one of the most enduring problems in electoral politics - how do countries make the transition from clientelism to programmatic electoral politics? - and, by exploring the role of business interests in that process, it makes a distinctive contribution to our understanding of how deeply the development of capitalism is intertwined with the development of democracy. It will be of interest to all students and scholars of political development and comparative political economy.' Peter Hall, Krupp Foundation Professor of European Studies, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    'Why do political parties abandon clientelism? In this richly detailed account, we learn that parties in Britain and the United States in the late-nineteenth century ended vote buying, reformed the civil service, and proposed predictable policies when a rising business class demanded an effective state. Clientelism, Capitalism, and Democracy will change the way we think about transitions to programmatic politics.' Frances Hagopian, Jorge Paulo Lemann Senior Lecturer on Government, Harvard University, Massachusetts

    'When political scientists asking big questions really do historical work - digging in archives, finding new data sources - the results are powerful. Didi Kuo's Clientalism, Capitalism, and Democracy illustrates this beautifully. In an innovative account of the demise of clientelism in historical Britain and the United States, Kuo demonstrates the underappreciated role of business in smashing clientelist politics. With lively writing and systematic evidence, Kuo's work helps reshape debates about the North Atlantic World's democratization, party politics, and clientelism around the world today.' Daniel Ziblatt, Harvard University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108426084
    • length: 174 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • contains: 13 b/w illus. 6 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Clientelism as a failure of governance: a theory of business, parties, and programmatic demands
    2. Clientelism as a governing strategy in the United States
    3. Business organization and the push for programmatic parties
    4. Clientelism and governance in Britain, 1850–80
    5. Administrative reform and programmatic parties in Britain

  • Author

    Didi Kuo, Stanford University, California
    Didi Kuo is the Program Manager of the Program on American Democracy in Comparative Perspective at Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and an Eric and Wendy Schmidt Fellow at New America.

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