why use patron-client model to analyze factions

The evolution of faction study

 

There is considerable disagreement on precisely what factions are and what they do. Most definitions tend to reflect the intellectual interests of their authors, and the range of definition extends beyond political science. The first studies of factionalism were made by social anthropologists interested in small-scale peasant communities in non-Western societies.

That interest led to the development of a concept of faction as a common form of political organization in traditional village settings. Anthropologists typically saw factions as groups, which structured conflict within the village or community differently than the formal traditional organizations such as clans and linages. Anthropologists described factions in terms of leaders, sometimes called patrons, plus a varied number of the leaders’ personally acquired followers, sometimes called clients. Thus, anthropologists developed the concept of the patron-client or clientist relationship as a typical basis of faction organization.

pp6-7

Dennis C. Beller and Frank P. Belloni: Faction Politics: Political Parties and Factionalism in Comparative Perspective.

ABC-CLIO, INC. 1978

 

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