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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:What accountability pressures do MPs in Africa face and how do they respond? Evidence from Ghana
Author:Lindberg, Staffan I.ISNI
Year:2010
Periodical:Journal of Modern African Studies (ISSN 0022-278X)
Volume:48
Issue:1
Pages:117-142
Language:English
Geographic term:Ghana
Subjects:parliamentarians
patronage
External link:https://www.jstor.org/stable/40538350
Abstract:How African politicians, especially legislators, behave on a daily basis is still largely unknown. This article gives an empirical account of the daily accountability pressures and the strategies that Members of Parliament (MPs) in Ghana employ in responding to the demands that they face. While literature on political clientelism focuses on explanatory factors like lack of political credibility, political machines capable of effective monitoring, autonomy of brokers, high levels of poverty, and political competitiveness, the role of institutions has been overlooked. While the existing literature suggests that political clientelism is an optimal strategy in the context of weak institutions, the present analysis finds that the institution of the office of Member of Parliament in Ghana is strong, but shaped by informal norms in ways that favour the provision of private goods in clientelistic networks. The analysis also points to theoretical lessons on how political clientelism can endogenously undermine the conditions for its own existence. App., bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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