Hierarchy and Trust in Modern Mexico and Brazil

By Luis Roniger | Go to book overview

mere mechanism to buttress one person's position at the expense of his opponents. By maintaining bureaucratic continuity, the public administration may develop the expertise necessary to transform the civil service into a professional career with its own behavioral ethic, but even then the bureaucracy will have a say in the political decisions adopted as well as great leeway deciding how they will be implemented ( Eisenstadt, 1965; Dror, 1986). Thus, formal supervision by the executive or the judiciary may merely cause public officials to develop highly ritualistic behavior (in Robert Merton's sense; see Merton 1952:140) or lead to administrative unresponsiveness whenever officials consider that there are fewer risks involved in avoiding decisionmaking than in processing public requests. Moreover, since politicians perform administrative functions in executive offices as well as when supervising the implementation of governmental policies, administrations remain open to clientelistic intercession ( Riggs, 1970; Schwartzman, 1976; Campello de Souza, 1976). In sum, a formal reliance on universalistic codes does not guarantee either a more equal access to resources and power nor the demise of clientelistic social exchange. And while there may be radical changes in the character of a society, of a political regime and its formal administrative rules--and hence in the patterns of clientelism--clientelism may persist nevertheless as an important mode of structuring social exchange.


NOTES
1.
This perspective provided a fundamental orientation for many of the studies on clientelism in specific countries. This dichotomous emphasis, so akin to the tradition that goes back in sociology to Sir Henry S. Maine's attribution of social systemic qualities to the Roman categories of status and contractus in the 1860s, and to P. Tönnies' distinction between Gemeinschaft and Geselschaft in the 1880s, was also widely applied after the 1950s in studies of modernization and in the so-called rural-urban "discontinuities." Such an approach was later severely criticized both theoretically and empirically; see, e.g., Eisenstadt ( 1973); Pahl ( 1966); Sotelo ( 1975). In the study of clientelism, however, this orientation has continued to be a dominant approach of analysis.
2.
This has been long emphasized by both the symbolic-interactionist and the structural-functionalist schools of sociology; see, among others, Goffman ( 1971); Parsons et al. ( 1961); and Turner, 1968.
3.
On such instances based on primordial access to clientelistic roles in other societies, see Lemarchand, 1977; Peters, 1968, 1977; Vinogradov, 1974; Skinner and Kirsch, 1975; Roniger, 1983.
4.
Individual occupation of the role of client occurs in a different context, less typical of the social settings analyzed here, but well exemplified in the relationships found among pastoralist age groups in East Africa, and analyzed in detail by Uri Almagor ( 1978). There, strategic resources are bonded within discrete corporate units, such as kinship groups, or are at the disposal of prominent family leaders, such as elders in age-group systems. Under such circumstances, clien-

-177-

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Hierarchy and Trust in Modern Mexico and Brazil
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Tables and Figures ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1 Clientelism and Trust 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 Hierarchy and Clientelism in Latin America 21
  • Notes 33
  • Chapter 3 the Institutional Context of Mexico and Brazil 35
  • Notes 54
  • Chapter 4 Clientelism in Mexico 57
  • Notes 93
  • Chapter 5 Clientelism in Brazil 97
  • Notes 141
  • Chapter 6 Cross-National Comparison of Mexican and Brazilian Clientelism 145
  • Notes 156
  • Chapter 7 Multi-Dimensional Comparison of Network Variability 159
  • Notes 177
  • Chapter 8 Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Mexican and Brazilian Clientelism 179
  • Conclusion 197
  • Notes 199
  • Bibliography 203
  • Index 233
  • About the Author 237
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