Christopher Clapham - Third World State: Neo-patrimonialism, Corruption and Clientelism

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17 Apr 2012
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Third World Politics: An Introduction
Christopher Clapham
P. 39-60
The Third World State
Independence gave the right to new rulers to control all instruments of the
government
o Institutions “aka states” created by the regime for its own use. The
“states” were the key to the structure of the third world politics
Distinguishing combination of power and fragility
o Power is more evident
o State is a structure of control usually strongly hierarchal
(originating from colonial sense)
Third world has to maintain itself by extracting resources from the domestic
economy and from trade.
Power over the state is the main idea, creating a quest for state power.
Few third world countries have been able to transform into self-sufficient
bureaucracies
o Cannot/will not develop into a totalitarian structure of hierarchal
control because it is so readily permeated by the society in which it
exists.
No merging of state and society with a shared set of values
State in its origins was the preserve of the dominant immigrant groups
o Fragile because of lack of organic unity/shared values. “weakness of
legitimacy”.
Great majority of the third world states have survived (as opposed to being
amalgamated or split)
Neo-Patrimonialism
Authority comes from a widely accepted goal (think definition of authority)
Perhaps the basic problem of the third world state is its failure to
approximate to a national-legal mode of operation
Patrimonalism
Authority is ascribed to a person rather than an office holder
“father over his children”
not subordinates when lower on the political hierarchy
neither leaders nor followers have defined powers
o power matters on whose behalf you exercise it
o system is held together by an oath of loyalty
Third world states are not feudal systems; they’re characterized by neo-
patrimonialism.
Relationship types of patrimonialism pervade a political/administrative
system which is general constructed on rational-legal lines. “Relationship of
vassal and lord, not of subordinate and superior”.
Corruption
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