patrimonialism


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patrimonialism

any form of political domination or political authority based on ‘personal’ and bureaucratic power exerted by a royal household (WEBER, 1922). As such ‘patrimonialism’ is a relatively broad term, not referring to any particular type of political system. The crucial contrast between patrimonialism and other types of political power is that:
  1. this power is formally ‘arbitrary’; and
  2. its administration is under the direct control of the ruler; (this means it involves the employment of retainers or slaves, mercenaries and conscripts, who themselves possess no independent basis of power, i.e. are not members of traditional landed aristocracy).

The limitation of patrimonialism, according to Weber, is that it was inherently unstable, tending to be subject to political upheavals, which arose from the emergence of rival centres of power. Since historically patrimonial systems were usually replaced by further patrimonial systems, their existence is seen as a barrier to any sustained economic and social transformation. Compare ORIENTAL DESPOTISM. See also EISENSTADT.

Collins Dictionary of Sociology, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2000
References in periodicals archive ?
A possible reflection in relation to this problem could actually be made from the question of 'patrimonialism' (HARTOG 2006).
(8) To the persistence of "patrimonialism and sultanism" (9) in Romanian political culture and the reminiscence of communist mentalities, one should add some specificities and reminiscences of traditional Romanian culture; for instance, the "Semanatorist" cultural fundamentalism in Romania in the interwar period in the philosophical works of Lucian Blaga and D.D.
One of the best ways for a political leader or agency manager to stay in control is to be surrounded with loyal people." (Clientelism, Patrimonialism and Democratic Governance: An Overview and Framework for Assessment and Programming, Derick W.
Fukuyama credits Progressive reformers, allied intellectual elites, and their middle-class minions with sending America's patrimonialism and clientelism packing, at least for a half century or so.
It tempers its treatment of that encouraging development in "middle Indonesia" by noting the important roles of money politics and patrimonialism in the emergence of the country's new provincial elites.
(10) They have shown that the new aspect of patrimonialism in Africa is that exchanges between "big" and "little" men are generally no longer conducted on face-to-face bases.
'Patrimonialism has been a strong feature of Southeast Asian politics', Bertrand remarks (p.
Patrimonialism, or neopatrimonialism, a key political concept, is precisely the lack of a tight wall between private and public domain, the confusion between state treasury and private bank accounts.
In eviscerating government institutions and changing the structure of Sudanese governance into a patronage marketplace, the NCP is posing a choice between authoritarian patrimonialism and warlordism.
States that overcome patrimonialism not only possess strong administrative capacity but also robust legal norms and effective systems of accountability to the public.
Rethinking patrimonialism and neopatrimonialism in Africa." African Studies Review 52:125-56.