Bringing civil society back in: the allocation of social benefits in Argentina
Sonat, Duygu (2012) Bringing civil society back in: the allocation of social benefits in Argentina. [Thesis]
Official URL: http://192.168.1.20/record=b1500491 (Table of Contents)
This thesis explores the determinants of the use of material inducements by political parties as a strategy of mobilizing voters. Previous studies find an association between socioeconomic variables, electoral competition, partisanship and the level of social discontent and the scope of clientelistic offers on the other. This study suggests that manipulation of public policies is a function of not only political incentives but also of incumbent parties' capacity to monitor the responsiveness of the voters to the material offers. Claiming that social networks are also relevant actors contributing to this capacity, it tests the effect of linkages between political parties and civil society organizations on the scope of Programa Jefes de Hogar Desocupados (Unemployed Heads of Households) in Argentina. By deploying quantitative and qualitative methods, this thesis provides further support for the relationship between socioeconomic and political factors and pervasiveness of clientelism. Moreover, it finds that religious organizations, sports clubs and economic organizations are associated with greater extent of public policy manipulation while business associations, neighbor organizations and unions mitigate clientelism. This study also relates to the literature on the role of civil society organizations in promoting more accountable program implementation, contributing to democratic deepening and poverty eradication through participation in social protection programs. The discussion on the findings of this program address the conditions under which civil society organizations are more efficient to further these aims and the conditions under which they fail to do so.
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