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A systemic framework to evaluate Political Clientelism and Citizens' Subjectivation Processes

Werner, Katarzyna and Vilchez, Virginia and Paucar-Caceres, Alberto (2019) A systemic framework to evaluate Political Clientelism and Citizens' Subjectivation Processes. Systems Research and Behavioral Science. ISSN 1092-7026

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Abstract

Political clientelism and low quality of democracy are recurrent problems in Latin American societies. The purpose of this paper is to understand the complex processes of subjectivation introduced and fostered by various practices of political clientelism. To explore this complexity, a systemic framework encompassing three dimensions of analysis: structural, institutional, and subjective is adopted. To explore the impact that the subjectivation processes have on the formation of citizenship, we applied the framework examining eighteen in-depth interviews with beneficiaries of the Social Inclusion Plan in San Luis, Argentina. Our results suggest that practices and discourses of political clientelism foster citizens’ dependence on the state and government. By focusing on the beneficiaries’ perceptions, our findings facilitate a better understanding of the real impact of state policies and help to identify ways to empower low-income people to exercise their rights and to develop a democratic, less dependent and mature citizenship.

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