What Is Vote Buying?

To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.


Many scholars view vote buying as a simple economic transaction: parties and candidates distribute material benefits to individual citizens in exchange for support at the ballot box. Drawing upon a variety of comparative experiences, this paper argues, however, that the commercial aspirations of vote buyers often run into objective as well as intersubjective barriers. On the objective side, seller compliance is uncertain as vote buying does not take place within a “normal” market protected by social and legal norms. On the intersubjective side, electoral practices that outside observers describe as “vote buying” may carry very different meanings in different cultural contexts. To assess empirical claims as well as normative judgments about vote buying, the paper concludes, we need to be aware of the potential gap between our idealized, commercial model of vote buying and the way it actually works in the world.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... The definition used in this Primer includes the distribution of inducements between the supporters of a party or candidate to encourage their turnout (also known as 'turnout buying ', Nichter 2008). This practice targeting a group of supporters also entails the contrary practice of paying inducements to the supporters of rival contestants to abstain from voting, sometimes referred to as 'negative vote buying' or 'abstention buying' (Schaffer and Schedler 2007). The vote-buying practices described here relate to a voter's willingness to either accept a bribe for their vote or not cast their vote for a specific candidate through forced coercion, such INTRODUCTION Vote buying is an electoral campaign violation which undermines the integrity of elections and is detrimental to democratic governance. ...
... As noted above, some voters are thought to accept electoral handouts because they resonate with their sense of social justice. They may regard inducements as a rightful claim to the resources of those in higher social strata and an opportunity to achieve a measure of dignity (Schaffer and Schedler 2007). ...
Full-text available
Vote buying is an electoral campaign violation that occurs in many countries, which undermines the integrity of elections and is detrimental to democratic governance. Many factors beyond electoral politics drive vote buying. Such factors influence the ‘supply side’ (political actors’ decisions to engage in vote buying), the ‘demand side’ (voters’ willingness to participate in vote buying) or both. This Primer outlines what vote buying is (and what it is not) and analyses the drivers behind the practice. It provides insights into vote-buying strategies and practices before considering options for policy interventions to effectively counter the practice. It also offers an analytical framework for a strategic approach to support such efforts to stakeholders seeking to gain comparative insights into vote buying and mitigation.
... Vote-Buying: Vote-buying, otherwise known as "voters-inducement", "electoral treating", "vote-trading", "vote-selling" or "money exchangehand politics" has become a recurring feature in most countries' electoral process. The concept of "vote-buying" connotes different meanings in different historical and cultural contexts (Schaffer, 2002). Scholars (e.g. ...
... Scholars (e.g. Matenga, 2016;Beetseh & Akpoo, 2015;Ovwasa, 2013;Schaffer & Schedler, 2005;Schaffer, 2002) view the act of vote-buying as economic exchange, a contract, or perhaps an auction in which the voter sells his or her vote to the highest bidder. It is also described as "when candidates buy and citizens/electorate sell votes, like they buy and sell apples, shoes, or television sets" (Schaffer &Schedlcr, 2005:3). ...
Full-text available
Brazen act of vote-buying during election has been an endangering feature of Nigerian body politics since independence. Past and recent elections held in the polity arc flawed with several irregularities including electoral frauds and money politics. Vote-buying through manipulation of voters and non-voters in exchange for their votes for monetary and non-monetary values weakens representative democracy. The 2018 Ekiti Gubernatorial election was not spared from this electoral malady. The study relying on content analysis of relevant secondary sources explores the 2018 gubernatorial election in Ekiti State visa -vis dangerous trends of vote-buying/selling that characterised the election. Using clientelism as a theoretical framework, the study notes that the two major political parties (All Peoples Congress, APC and Peoples Democratic Party, PDP) in the governorship race and their candidates apparently indulged in electoral clientelism and vote-buying during the election. Ipso facto, credibility of the election and legitimacy of the newly-formed government remains contestable, while growing trend of vote-buying questions Nigeria's democracy. The study however recommends, inter alia, outright disregard and condemnation of vote-buying by all stakeholders, rigorous political education for the electorate, and strict enforcement of legislation against vote-buying/selling practice during election to deter others.
... For example, the definitions of patronage, clientelism and vote-buying in Stokes et al. (2013), Schaffer (2007, Hutchcroft (2007), and Kitschelt and Wilkinson (2006). 3 "Pork barrel" usually refers to collective goods targeted to a geographic area (e.g., Schaffer 2007a: 5). ...
... Norms of reciprocity develop through extended interactions and imply an ongoing relationship. Some scholars reserve "clientelism" for the latter, preferring to call the former "vote-buying" (Schaffer and Schedler 2007;Tomsa and Ufen 2013: 5). The two may coexist as parties or candidates may supplement public benefits directed to supporters between elections with gifts and cash at election time. ...
Full-text available
Since poverty is often believed to be a root cause of clientelism, government policies to reduce poverty should also help to reduce clientelism. However, scholars studying clientelism are more likely to view social policy as a potential resource for clientelist politicians. This article examines this paradox in the Philippine context by offering a general framework to identify when social welfare policies are likely to reduce clientelism, and by applying this framework to the Philippines, focusing on the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino conditional cash transfer programme, or Pantawid. I argue that the policies that are most likely to undercut clientelism are universal social protection policies that provide poor families with security, although these are the least acceptable to middle-class taxpayers. This is exemplified by the Philippines, which has tended to introduce social policies that increase the scope for clientelism by making discretionary allocation more likely, rather than policies that offer income security to the poor. The Pantawid programme attempts to overcome these problems by introducing a centralised targeting mechanism to identify beneficiaries and by guaranteeing the benefit to all eligible families, but like all conditional cash transfer programs falls short of guaranteed and universal social protection. © 2016, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies. All right reserved.
... In certain contexts, political actors are better able to monitor their agents than in others, as when they are deeply enmeshed in the social networks of their constituents (Stokes 2005), or use schemes, such as carousel ballots and contingency payments (Schaffer and Schedler 2007). These strategies are not likely to fully alleviate actors' concerns regarding shirking, however, since they are not always available, only apply to certain forms of electoral fraud, and are not foolproof. ...
Full-text available
Political actors often resort to electoral violence in order to gain an edge over their competitors even though violence is much harder to hide than fraud and more likely to delegitimize elec- tions as a result. The existing literature tends to treat violence and fraud as equivalent strategies or to treat violence as a means of last resorts due to its overtness. We argue, in contrast, that vi- olence is neither and, in fact, that political actors often use violence for the very reason that it is hard to hide. Its overtness, we argue, allows political actors to observe whether the agents they enlist to manipulate elections for them do so and reduces these agents’ likelihood of shirking in turn. We develop our argument through a formal model, illustrating how increasing incentives to shirk due to electoral monitoring induces actors to use violence, and use process tracing to test the implications of this model through the example of pre-2011 Egypt.
... Invariably, vote buying is a binding contract, or perhaps an auction in which the voter sells his or her vote to the highest bidder (Schaffer, 2002). Vote buying is defined here as any form of financial, material or promissory inducement or reward by a candidate, political party, agent or supporter to influence a voter to cast his or her vote or even abstain from doing so in order to enhance the chances of a particular contestant to win an election. ...
Full-text available
Elections provide the platform for the electorate to choose their leaders in modern democracies. In Nigeria, they provide the opportunity for rich corrupt politicians to perpetrate acts of vote buying against both fellow contestants and the electorate. The introduction of Smart Card Readers (SCRs) technology and the permanent voter cards (PVCs) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) made it difficult for politicians to manipulate election results. In other to game the system, politicians began relying increasingly on vote buying as a means of compromising and influencing the outcome of elections. Hence, vote buying is a fairly new method of election rigging. This paper, therefore, intends to explore the manifestations, motivations, and effects of vote buying on elections conducted between 2015 and 2019, as well as its implications for future elections in the country.
... Although voter-mobilization strategies have attracted considerable attention from scholars, the impact of extrinsic rewards on voter turnout has, for the most part, eluded scholarly inquiry. Researchers have focused more directly on the use of rewards, incentives, or bribes in vote-buying attempts, primarily in elections overseas (Schaffer and Schedler 2007;Stokes 2005), but the emphasis in this literature is on vote choice and on the partisan effects of vote buying. One recent, observational study that distinguishes between vote-and turnout-buying strategies that make use of electoral rewards does not focus explicitly on the impact of these inducements on mobilization; instead, the emphasis is on explaining vote choice or who is targeted to receive particularistic benefits (Nichter 2008). ...
Full-text available
Economists and psychologists often disagree about the impact of rewards on prosocial behavior. Economists generally believe incentives promote effort and performance, while many psychologists warn they depress intrinsic motivation and impair performance. I conduct the first randomized field experiments of which I am aware to investigate the impact of extrinsic (monetary) rewards on voting in elections. In a pilot study, voters in Gilroy, California, were randomly assigned to receive a postcard mailing with either a simple reminder to vote or an offer to receive a financial reward (of varying levels) for participating in the November 2007 election. A large-scale replication study was conducted in Lancaster, California, in April 2010. The results of the experiments reveal nominal incentives failed to effectively raise turnout in elections, but nontrivial incentives elevated electoral participation. These findings yield insights relevant to disciplinary debates in economics and psychology as well as in political science.
... Understanding how such factors influence the mix of clientelism is important in part because strategies may entail different normative implications. For example, vote buying may be seen as unambiguously harmful for democracy, as the strategy interferes with free and fair elections, and undermines political equality by allowing those who have resources to buy the votes of the poor (Schaffer and Schedler 2007;Stokes 2005). By contrast, Hasen (2000) argues that the normative implications of turnout buying are more ambiguous because it may increase equality of political participation by inducing the poor to vote. ...
Although many studies of clientelism focus exclusively on vote buying, political machines often employ diverse portfolios of strategies. We provide a theoretical framework and formal model to explain how and why machines mix four clientelist strategies during elections: vote buying, turnout buying, abstention buying, and double persuasion. Machines tailor their portfolios to the political preferences and voting costs of the electorate. They also adapt their mix to at least five contextual factors: compulsory voting, ballot secrecy, political salience, machine support, and political polarization. Our analysis yields numerous insights, such as why the introduction of compulsory voting may increase vote buying, and why enhanced ballot secrecy may increase turnout buying and abstention buying. Evidence from various countries is consistent with our predictions and suggests the need for empirical studies to pay closer attention to the ways in which machines combine clientelist strategies.
Full-text available
The practice of democratic in Nigeria, like some other African countries, is synonymous with political bottlenecks and anomalies especially with the issue of how to conduct free, fair and credible elections. There is hardly any election that there are no records electoral malpractices one of which is the vote selling. The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been making efforts to improve its conduct of general elections through the means of modern electronic devices but it has not been able to address the problem of vote selling. And as long as the electorates sell their votes, the process may not produce competent and credible public office holders. Granted that vote selling is a violation of Sections 131 to 136 and 177 to 181 of the 1999 Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria as well Sections 114 to 129 of the 2022 Electoral Act, it behooves critical stakeholders to act in good faith against vote selling from scuttling our nascent democracy. Media advocacy against vote selling is very important towards this end, given the fact that a good number of vote sellers need voter education. The media anti-vote-selling advocacy can be carried out through several media platforms like the cartoon, editorials and features in newspapers. More radio jingles like the votes “Not For Sale” can also be produced to educate the public. Keywords: Election, Media, Media Advocacy, Voter Education, Vote Selling
Full-text available
In Nigeria, politicians and parties have developed a sophisticated vote-buying scheme, which we label, according to the state, where it happens, the Ekiti model of vote buying. Through a qualitative study of the gubernatorial elections 2018 in Ekiti, we describe how the Ekiti model of vote buying works. At the top of this scheme are parties, which have developed a sophisticated money distribution chain. Party members, who participate, get rewards in forms of government jobs or other benefits (should the party win). At the bottom of the chain are the voters, who receive between 10 and 30 dollars for their vote. They can even double dip and get their voting money twice, if they play the system well. The staff at the voting stations and the security personnel also get their fair share to guarantee that the vote buying machinery works. Who wins in such a system of entrenched corruption? It is the party, which hands out the most resources. As such, the vote buying machinery proofed quite effective.
Despite the fact that electoral processes involve two sides—political candidates and voters—most of the studies on political clientelism in Latin American tend to focus on the latter. Using survey data from the University of Salamanca’s Latin American Elite Project (PELA-USAL), this chapter focuses on the study of three discretional practices from the perspective of congresspeople: clientelism, patronage, and pork-barrel expenditures in exchange for votes. We examine the effects of socioeconomic, institutional, and political variables on vote-buying. Results suggest that legislators representing small districts are more likely to offer jobs in exchange for votes, while those who belong to the incumbent party, have held public office in the past, and have been elected by underprivileged districts tend to make pork-barrel offers to their voters.
Full-text available
Despite the prominence of information in theories of electoral accountability, providing voters with information often fails to improve politician performance. Using two experiments in the Philippines, we show that when voters are unfamiliar with basic government capabilities, merely informing them of what politicians could do is sufficient to decrease support for incumbents. However, politicians can counteract this decrease in support by increasing clientelistic practices such as vote buying. Our work shows how even neutral information campaigns can improve the leverage of voters vis-a-vis their politicians, offering guidance for the design of interventions to change the electoral equilibrium in clientelistic countries.
Full-text available
This paper seeks to look into the causes and factors that lead to the practice of vote buying in the Philippines. This also tries to examine the motivations of candidates who buy and sell their votes. The data were obtained from a combination of government data bases and informal sources. The findings revealed a significant correlation between poverty, literacy rate and the buying price of votes. Vote buying thrives where poverty incidence is high and where literacy is low. Due to the rather high incidence of poverty in the country, vote buying appeared to escalate over the years. The interplay of economic needs of the voters and their willingness to cast their votes to the highest bidders paint a rather glowing political scenario in the future.
Full-text available
This research shows that prior studies have been based on a survey methodology that systematically underestimates vote buying. Survey questions that rely on filter questions and include the phrase “in exchange for your vote” make respondents less likely to self-report receiving gifts during political campaigns. In turn, direct questioning that help respondents remember whether they received an electoral gift makes them more likely to report it. The findings of this paper suggest that prior vote-buying surveys have underestimated the amount of clientelism by political parties in Latin America. When following our proposed question wording, our research finds that the clientelistic linkages between parties and voters are stronger than previously considered.
What factors shape citizens’ willingness to engage in vote selling? This paper argues that providing voters with information about the detrimental effect of vote selling (public service predation) or telling them that their community members will look down on them if they engage in the practice (social sanctioning) can shape vote-selling attitudes in emerging democracies. Using a nationwide randomized survey experiment carried out between May and June of 2012 in Kenya, this study primes voters with theory-based informational messages for voters to test whether such messages can potentially curtail vote-selling attitudes. The paper finds that both public service predation and social sanctioning messages can reduce stated vote-selling preferences as much as legal campaigns that have been tested previously. The study has important implications for researchers and policy-makers because it suggests alternative methods to change vote-selling attitudes and even behavior in the short- to medium-term.
Standard rationales for the illegality of markets in votes are based on concerns over the undue influence of wealth and the erosion of civic responsibility that would result from the commodification of votes. I present an alternative rationale based on how the mere alienability of votes alters the strategic setting faced by political actors. The inalienability of votes ensure the strict secrecy of voting, that is, the inability of voters to communicate credibly to others the content of their votes. In doing so, it diminishes the credibility of all political actors’ clientelistic promises to reciprocate. By drastically reducing the transaction costs of vote exchanges, the legality of markets in votes would thus exacerbate the detrimental effects of political clientelism on the quality of democratic governments.
The social networks of voters have been shown to facilitate political cooperation and information transmission in established democracies. These same social networks, however, can also make it easier for politicians in new democracies to engage in clientelistic electoral strategies. Using survey data from the Philippines, this article demonstrates that individuals with more friend and family ties are disproportionately targeted for vote buying. This is consistent with the importance of other social factors identified in the literature such as reciprocity, direct ties to politicians, and individual social influence. In addition, this article presents evidence supporting an additional mechanism linking voter social networks to the targeting of vote buying: social network–based monitoring. Voters with larger networks are both more sensitive to the ramifications of reneging on vote buying agreements and are primarily targeted for vote buying in contexts where monitoring is necessary.
Full-text available
While democratic accountability is widely expected to reduce corruption, citizens to a surprisingly large extent opt to forgo their right to protest and voice complaints, and refrain from using their electoral right to punish corrupt politicians. This article examines how grand corruption and elite collusion influence electoral accountability, in particular citizens’ willingness to punish corrupt incumbents. Using new regional-level data across 21 European countries, we provide clear empirical evidence that the level of societal grand corruption in which a voter finds herself systematically affects how she responds to a political corruption scandal. Grand corruption increases loyalty to corrupt politicians, demobilizes the citizenry, and crafts a deep divide between insiders, or potential beneficiaries of the system, and outsiders, left on the sidelines of the distribution of benefits. This explains why outsiders fail to channel their discontent into effective electoral punishment, and thereby how corruption undermines democratic accountability.
This article introduces a political economy model for studying the relationship between the vote-buying strategy of a party that has won the mayoralty of a municipality in the last election and its preferences as the governing party on the municipal political space, given its desire to maintain its position. The main result is that the governing party prefers to promote, given its clientelistic structure, the political agendas with which it selectively impoverishes worse-off (WO) individuals; this will allow that equilibrium prices in vote markets will be reduced in a next election, and therefore, it will help enable the governing party to achieve its objective of maintaining governmental power through its vote-buying strategy in the exchange network.
The implications of clientelism for democratic accountability are mixed: Brokers not only help coordinate votes for collective gain but also exploit their position to advance personal interest. I argue that brokers use distinct strategies—persuasion, reciprocation, and punishment—to motivate voters as a function of their local institutional context. Competitively selected brokers whose preferences are aligned with those of followers can rely more on persuasion than instrumental inducements. Economically autonomous brokers are more likely to rely on sanctions than reciprocity. Evidence to support both the proposed typology of broker strategies and their determinants is collected in Senegal, a clientelistic democracy where group-level heterogeneity generates natural variation in broker types. A coordination game played with real brokers illustrates that participants are less likely to sacrifice personal gain when brokers are competitively selected, more likely when they most fear retribution. Qualitative data suggest that results from the laboratory game plausibly generalize to behavior in elections.
This article introduces a collection of papers that explore two understudied but critical questions of enduring concern for the study of democratization. Was the secret ballot driven by the same forces that drove the rise of democracy more generally? Did the secret ballot end electoral fraud, or was its effect merely endogenous to economic modernization more generally? This article provides historical context for the rise of the secret ballot, systematizing some of the complexities and ambiguities of the concept of the “secret ballot” itself. Second, we summarize the approach and some of the main findings of the papers in the volume, offering an outline of the broader lessons that emerge from the papers. Finally, we reflect upon the significance of a historical study of the secret ballot for technological and institutional reforms for contemporary democracy.
Full-text available
While electoral clientelism has been studied from very different theoretical perspectives and angles, scholars typically emphasize the importance of organized networks and longterm relations for sustaining it. However, electoral clientelism continues to be widespread in many countries despite the absence of organized parties or electoral machines. In order to solve this puzzle, I propose an informational approach that stresses the indirect effects on electoral outcomes that early investments in electoral clientelism have. I argue that clientelism during campaigns is crucial for signaling candidates' electoral viability. Politicians buy the participation of poor voters at campaign events. By turning out large numbers of people at rallies, candidates establish and demonstrate their electoral prospects to the media, donors, activists, and voters. Evidence from Peru supports these expectations.
Vote buying is often conceptualized incorrectly—whether stated or inferred, and usually without being operationalized—as having a simple dichotomous outcome: It is either practiced and it corrupts the electoral process, or it does not. Conceptualizing vote buying in this manner is not only misleading, but it also fails to expose the complex nature of vote buying and its impact on voter turnout. Instead, I conceptualize vote buying as a process that involves specific steps by answering the following questions: How does the vote-buying process unfold, and does vote buying result in votes for the vote buyer? I use interview data from Thai provinces to understand the experiences and perceptions of ordinary Thais at each step of the vote-buying process. The results highlight the importance of viewing vote buying as a process, in addition to understanding the relationship between vote buying and voter turnout.
Full-text available
Electoral competition is necessary but not sufficient for the consolidation of democratic regimes; not all elections are free and fair; nor do they necessarily lead to actual civilian rule or respect for human rights. If there is more to democracy than elections, then there is more to democratization than the transition to elections. But in spite of the rich literature on the emergence of electoral competition, the dynamics of political transitions toward respect for other fundamental democratic rights is still not well understood. Political democracy is defined here in classic procedural terms: free and fair electoral contestation for governing offices based on universal suffrage, guaranteed freedoms of association and expression, accountability through the rule of law, and civilian control of the military. Although analyses of democratization typically acknowledge that these are all necessary criteria, most examine only electoral competition. This study, however, develops a framework for explaining progress toward another necessary condition for democratization respect for associational autonomy, which allows citizens to organize in defense of their own interests and identities without fear of external intervention or punishment.
Full-text available
L'évocation de facteurs extrinsèques ou de dysfonctionnements pour expliquer la crise urbaine au Sénégal laisse la place à des discours normatifs ou/et gestionnaires et interdit une analyse des enjeux sociaux et politiques des pratiques urbaines incriminées. Au travers de l'exemple de Pikine, on voit que la "mauvaise gestion urbaine" procède en fait de stratégies de contrôle territorial et social de l'Etat et du Parti socialiste, révélant ainsi une des "articulations fonctionnelles" entre l'Etat et la société. L'analyse détaillée de l'organisation politique de la ville, tant au niveau du Parti socialiste que de la municipalité montre par quels réseaux et par quels mécanismes l'Etat garde le contrôle de villes que tout désignait aux troubles et à la marginalisation. La vraie situation de crise intervient maintenant, quand l'Etat n'est plus à même de jouer son rôle de client et que les mécanismes de contrôle territorial mis en place à Pikine par le PS ne jouent plus. (Résumé d'auteur)
Based on ethnographic fieldwork in a shantytown in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, this article studies the workings of Peronist "political clientelism" among the urban poor. It analyzes the web of relations that some slum-dwellers establish with local political brokers to obtain medicine, food, and solutions to other everyday concerns. The article also explores the main functions of the "problem-solving networks," which are resource control and information hoarding, and pays particular attention to an underexplored dimension of the operation of clientelism: clients' own views on the network.
La consolidation démocratique et la formation de nouveaux régimes de subjectivité politique, au Bénin, s'opèrent paradoxalement dans le creuset des pratiques clientélaires et dans la matrice plus générale de la "gouvernementalité du ventre". On note ainsi que la "transhumance politique" des électeurs, qui "bouffent" indifféremment l'argent des candidats, est devenue un mode d'affirmation des droits de l'"individu-citoyen". L'hypothèse d'une marchandisation de la démocratie est alors examinée pour saisir ces modalités complexes et ambivalentes d'"apprivoisement" de la modernité pluraliste. Le répertoire du ventre et de la manducation généralement employé pour stigmatiser les inégalités et la voracité des hommes politiques est devenu un registre de l'équité, de la justice sociale et de la responsabilité démocratique (accountability). Pour l'expliquer, il faut dépasser l'approche utilitariste des transactions électorales et analyser les matrices morales dans lesquelles s'enchâssent les représentations du pouvoir et de l'argent, pénétrer un peu plus dans "l'architecture intérieure de la vertu civique" des citoyens ordinaires. A condition de distinguer entre les registres de la ruse et de la confiance, de l'humilité et du "respect de soi" qui composent l'économie morale du xomé (le ventre, l'intériorité), on découvre alors que dans le creuset de la "gouvernementalité du ventre" s'opèrent des mutations décisives dans les représentations de la responsabilité politique.
In the last two decades the empirical approach to political science has been heavily preoccupied with the study of contemporary voting behavior. Few have been sufficiently curious about or motivated by the mysteries of our electoral past to sustain a concentrated research effort in this direction. Yet, as V. O. Key often noted, a knowledge of our electoral past provides us with a better understanding of our electoral present, with how our current system has evolved and changed over time. Only recently have scholars begun to heed the call of Key and new historians like Lee Benson and Samuel P. Hays for an empirical analysis of historical voting behavior. The initial research efforts, although often crude and unsystematic in method, have prompted interesting speculation as to “divergences” in our thinking from what previously had been assumed about past electorates. They have discovered “anomalies” in several different contexts—in earlier unconfirmed theories of voting behavior, in data-oriented contemporary work on the American voter, and even among the various historical research efforts themselves. While the presence of such anomalies characterizes the first stages of any research effort in virgin territory, unraveling the apparent inconsistencies must always be part of the process of a more fully developed cumulative research program. What is the task of the moment is to examine these anomalies in light of the theories and research of Professors Burnham, Converse, and myself—the principal elements in this continuing dialogue about the proper interpretation of our electoral past.
Many democracies in the developing world have enacted reforms to make their elections cleaner. It is often assumed that such reforms will make elections more participatory. The reality, however, is that we know little about the consequences of current reform efforts on voter turnout. In examining both historical and contemporary cases, this article identifies three mechanisms by which clean election reform today might actually keep potential voters away from the polls: legal disfranchisment, cutting out the go-between, and buying abstention.
Research on democratic party competition in the formal spatial tradition of Downs and the comparative-historical tradition of Lipset and Rokkan assumes that linkages of accountability and responsiveness between voters and political elites work through politicians’ programmatic appeals and policy achievements. This ignores, however, alternative voter-elite linkages through the personal charisma of political leaders and, more important, selective material incentives in networks of direct exchange (clientelism). In light of the diversity of linkage mechanisms appearing in new democracies and changing linkages in established democracies, this article explores theories of linkage choice. It first develops conceptual definitions of charismatic, clientelist, and programmatic linkages between politicians and electoral constituencies. It then asks whether politicians face a trade-off or mutual reinforcement in employing linkage mechanisms. The core section of the article details developmentalist, statist, institutional, political-economic, and cultural-ideological theories of citizen-elite linkage formation in democracies, showing that none of the theories is fully encompassing. The final section considers empirical measurement problems in comparative research on linkage.
On 2 December 1989, voters on Taiwan cast ballots to elect national legislators (lifaweiyuan) , provincial and city representatives (sheng/shiyiyuari) and county executives (xianzhang) . Though the Nationalist Party (KMT) received 59 per cent of the overall vote, the election was widely viewed as a surprising success for the fledgling opposition party, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), since the KMT had polled over 70 per cent of the vote in all previous elections. James Soong, Secretary-General of the KMT, announced after an emergency meeting of the shocked KMT leadership, “We calmly accept an upset.”
Japanese elections are notorious for the money that flows between contributors, politicians, and voters. To date, however, nobody has estimated statistically the impact of this money on electoral outcomes. Students of American politics have discovered that this question is difficult to answer because, while performance may depend on spending, spending may also depend on expected performance - so that there is simultaneous causation to deal with. In this paper, we specify a two-stage least squares model that explains the vote shares of LDP candidates as a function of their own spending, spending by other candidates, and a battery of control variables. Interestingly, the multiple candidate nature of Japanese elections means that district-level demographic variables are largely unrelated to any particular LDP candidate's vote share, allowing us to use these variables to create instruments for campaign spending. Finally, in a necessarily tentative comparison, we find that the marginal dollar of campaign spending buys the spender a great deal more in Japan than is true in the U.S.
L'A. porte son attention sur le clientelisme politique, phenomene marquant au sein de la vie politique en Amerique latine. Il se demande plus particulierement comment les beneficiaires des faveurs des hommes politiques percoivent le clientelisme politique, s'ils le jugent utile, s'ils le considerent comme une forme d'aide. L'A. etudient les pratiques du Parti peroniste en Argentine en ce domaine. Il analyse la relation entre le beneficiaire et le «fournisseur» de faveurs. Il montre que la relation clienteliste suppose une reciprocite. Un service est accorde en echange de la promesse d'assister a une reunion politique. L'A. decrit la mise en place des politiques de goudronnage des rues des quartiers pauvres de Buenos Aires. Il souligne que les beneficiaires des faveurs s'efforcent d'utiliser la politique afin d'ameliorer leurs conditions de vie. Il examine le rapport entre faveur, domination et vote
"Robert Gay's study is well done. It provides a detailed look at two different forms of popular political organization in Brazil and how they relate to the state, local people, parties, and politicians.... Gay allows the reader to catch a glimpse of the enormous varieties of ways in which popular organizations relate politics to contemporary Brazil. There is no comparable book on Latin American politics." —Scott Mainwaring, Helen Kellogg Institute for International Studies, University of Notre Dame This urban tale of survival illustrates two versions of active, organized, aggressive participation in the political process. Vila Brasil survives by exchanging votes for favors. The president of its neighborhood association promises political candidates that the favela will vote in masse for the highest bidder. Vila Brasil has maneuvered this power to become one of the best served favelas in the region—for the moment, at least. Vidigal, on the other hand, steadfastly refuses to support candidates who campaign on boasts or promises alone. Vote-selling, or buying, is not permitted. To do well in Vidigal, a politician must talk not only about providing electricity and water in the favela, but also about wages, education, and health care over the longer term. In analyzing the favela's different responses to the popular movement that confronted the military in Rio de Janeiro in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the author makes a significant contribution to literature about relationships among urban poor, political elites, and the state.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Economics, 1994. Includes bibliographical references. by Alan S. Gerber. Ph.D.
Abstract has subtitle: Institutional reform and electoral behavior in the Republic of China on Taiwan. Thesis (Ph. D.)--Harvard University, 1994. Includes bibliographical references (leaves [289]-311). Photocopy.
Includes summaries in Dutch and Spanish. Thesis--Universiteit van Amsterdam, 1995. Includes bibliographical references (p. [247]-260).
Estudio cultural que cuestiona la forma en que los senegaleses conciben y definen la democracia, de cara a los cambios políticos que vivió el país africado a finales del siglo XX. Los ámbitos desde los que se estudia el proceso político son la antropología y la lingüística.
Secrecy in the voting process eliminated an important motivation for voting. No longer able to verify the voters' choices, political parties stopped offering payments in return for votes. Within the rational voter framework, it will be shown that these payments were a prime impetus for people to vote. Without a vote market to cover their voting costs, many voters were rational to stay away from the polls. This hypothesis is supported through a series of empirical tests culminating in a multivariate legislative regression. When other electoral laws are controlled for, the secret ballot accounts for 7 percentage points lower gubernatorial turnout. Copyright 1995 by Kluwer Academic Publishers
In 1974 Philip Converse and Jerrold Rusk offered an institutional, and Walter Dean Burnham, a behavioral explanation of the decline in voter turnout in the northern United States around the turn of the century. An examination of turnout figures for New York State from 1870 to 1916 demonstrates that election statistics lend some support to both explanations, and that the elections around 1890 provide the strongest evidence in favor of the Converse-Rusk hypothesis. A systematic analysis of election-related stories in contemporary newspapers allows a test of Converse's assertion that the introduction of the secret ballot decreased reported turnout by damping down what he alleges was widespread rural corruption. Concluding that neither previous theory stands up well when confronted with the detailed voting figures and newspaper evidence, we propose an alternative explanation which melds the institutional and behavioral hypotheses.
From Party Tickets to Secret Ballots: The Evolution of the Electoral Process in Maryland During the Gilded Age
  • Peter H Argersinger
Argersinger, Peter H. 1987. "From Party Tickets to Secret Ballots: The Evolution of the Electoral Process in Maryland During the Gilded Age." Maryland Historical Review 82,3: 214-255.
Understanding Politics in a Nueva Ecija Rural Community In From Marcos to Aquino: Local Perspectives on Political Transition in the Philippines edited by
  • Benedict J Kerkvliet
Kerkvliet, Benedict J. 1991. "Understanding Politics in a Nueva Ecija Rural Community." In From Marcos to Aquino: Local Perspectives on Political Transition in the Philippines edited by Benedict J. Kerkvliet and Resil B. Mojares. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.
Epilogue: Ordinary People in Everyday Life In [De]scribing Elections: A Study of Elections in the Lifeworld of San Isidro by
  • Rainier Ibana
Ibana, Rainier. 1996. "Epilogue: Ordinary People in Everyday Life." In [De]scribing Elections: A Study of Elections in the Lifeworld of San Isidro by Myrna J. Alejo, Maria Elena P. Rivera, and Noel Inocencio P. Valencia. Quezon City: Institute for Popular Democracy.
Combating Corruption at the Grassroots: The Thailand Experience
  • Laura Thornton
Thornton, Laura. 2000. "Combating Corruption at the Grassroots: The Thailand Experience, 1999-2000." National Democratic Institute for International Affairs.
Political Reform and the New Thai Electoral System: Old Habits Die Hard?" In How Asia Votes edited by John Fuh-sheng Hsieh and David Newman
  • Surin Maisrikrod
Surin Maisrikrod. 2002. "Political Reform and the New Thai Electoral System: Old Habits Die Hard?" In How Asia Votes edited by John Fuh-sheng Hsieh and David Newman. New York: Chatham House.
How Partisan Poll Watching is Transformed into an Indirect Vote Buying Chapel Net: Christian Action for Peaceful and Meaningful Elections
  • Weng Bava
Bava, Weng. 1998. "How Partisan Poll Watching is Transformed into an Indirect Vote Buying." Chapel Net: Christian Action for Peaceful and Meaningful Elections.
Electoral Reform in England and Wales: The Development and Operation of the Parliamentary Franchise
  • Charles Seymour
Seymour, Charles. 1915. Electoral Reform in England and Wales: The Development and Operation of the Parliamentary Franchise, 1832-1885. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Typologie juridique de la fraude électorale en France
  • Gilbert Knaub
Knaub, Gilbert. 1970. Typologie juridique de la fraude électorale en France. Paris: Dalloz.
When Do Parties Buy Votes? Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Electoral Corruption Prepared for delivery at Trading Political Rights: The Comparative Politics of Vote Buying conference
  • Fabrice Lehoucq
Lehoucq, Fabrice. 2002. "When Do Parties Buy Votes? Theoretical and Empirical Perspectives on Electoral Corruption." Prepared for delivery at Trading Political Rights: The Comparative Politics of Vote Buying conference, MIT.
Old Wine in New Bottlenecks? Elections in Thailand Under the 1997 Constitution
  • Aurel Croissant
  • Jörn Dosch
  • Nd
Croissant, Aurel and Jörn Dosch. nd. "Old Wine in New Bottlenecks? Elections in Thailand Under the 1997 Constitution." Manuscript.
Clientelism and Democracy: Evidence from Argentina Presented at Political Parties and Legislative Organization in Parliamentary and Presidential Regimes conference
  • Valeria Brusco
  • Marcelo Nazareno
  • Susan C Stokes
Brusco, Valeria, Marcelo Nazareno, and Susan C. Stokes. 2002. "Clientelism and Democracy: Evidence from Argentina." Presented at Political Parties and Legislative Organization in Parliamentary and Presidential Regimes conference, Yale University.
The Market for Votes in Thailand Prepared for delivery at Trading Political Rights: The Comparative Politics of Vote Buying conference
  • Allen D Hicken
Hicken, Allen D. 2002. "The Market for Votes in Thailand." Prepared for delivery at Trading Political Rights: The Comparative Politics of Vote Buying conference, MIT.
Electoral Systems and the Basis of the Vote
  • Thomas R Rochon
Rochon, Thomas R. 1981. "Electoral Systems and the Basis of the Vote." In Parties, Candidates, and Voters in Japan: Six Quantitative Studies, edited by John C. Campbell. Ann Arbor: Michigan University Press.
Clientelism without Clients: The Incongruent Institutionalization of Electoral Mobilization in Mexico
  • Andreas Schedler
Schedler, Andreas. 2002. "Clientelism without Clients: The Incongruent Institutionalization of Electoral Mobilization in Mexico." Presented at Informal Institutions and Politics in Development conference, Harvard University.
Peasants, Patrons, and the State in Northern Portugal
  • Manuel Silva
  • Carlos
Silva, Manuel Carlos. 1994. "Peasants, Patrons, and the State in Northern Portugal." In Democracy, Clientelism, and Civil Society edited by Luis Roniger and Ayse Günes-Ayata. Boulder: Lynne Rienner.
Corrupt and Illegal Practices: A General Survey and a Case Study of an Election Petition
  • L M Helmore
Helmore. L. M. 1967. Corrupt and Illegal Practices: A General Survey and a Case Study of an Election Petition. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul.
The Elimination of Corrupt Practices in British Elections
  • O ' Leary
O'Leary, Cornelius.1962. The Elimination of Corrupt Practices in British Elections, 1868-1911.
The Dilemmas of Clientelism: Electoral Mobilization of Clientelism in Taiwan Carolina Papers: Democracy and Human Rights
  • Chin-Shou Wang
Wang, Chin-shou. 2001. "The Dilemmas of Clientelism: Electoral Mobilization of Clientelism in Taiwan, 1993." Carolina Papers: Democracy and Human Rights, No. 1. University of North Carolina Center for International Studies.
The Politics of Vote Trading in Venezuela Prepared for delivery at Trading Political Rights: The Comparative Politics of Vote Buying conference
  • Miriam Kornblith
Kornblith, Miriam. 2002. "The Politics of Vote Trading in Venezuela." Prepared for delivery at Trading Political Rights: The Comparative Politics of Vote Buying conference, MIT.