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.


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





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: