1st Edition

Clientelism and Economic Policy Greece and the Crisis

By Aris Trantidis Copyright 2016
    270 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    With its deep economic crisis and dramatic political developments Greece has puzzled Europe and the world. What explains its long-standing problems and its incapacity to reform its economy?

    Using an analytic narrative and a comparative approach, the book studies the pattern of economic reforms in Greece between 1985 and 2015. It finds that clientelism - the allocation of selective benefits by political actors (patrons) to their supporters (clients) - created a strong policy bias that prevented the country from implementing deep-cutting reforms. The book shows that the clientelist system differs from the general image of interest-group politics and that the typical view of clientelism, as individual exchange between patrons and clients, has not fully captured the wide range and implications of this phenomenon. From this, the author develops a theory on clientelism and policy-making, addressing key questions on the politics of economic reform, government autonomy and party politics.

    The book is an essential addition to the literatures on clientelism, public choice theory, and comparative political economy. It will be of key interest to scholars and students of European Union politics, economic policy and party politics.

    1. Introduction: Clientelism and Economic Reforms: The Case of Greece

    2. The Greek Political Economy in Historical Perspective

    3. Clientelism as a Policy Equilibrium

    4. Muddling Through Reform: Crisis and Policy Between 1985 and 1989

    5. Departure from the Clientelist Equilibrium: The Economic Agenda of the Mitsotakis Government (1990-1993)

    6. Clientelist Bias in Macroeconomic Stabilization: Fiscal and Monetary Policy under PASOK (1993-2000)

    7. Clientelist Bias in Structural Reforms: The Case of PASOK (1993-2004)

    8. Within-party Dynamics in Clientelist Politics: PASOK under Simitis

    9. Beyond Clientelist Bias: The Impact of Economic Restructuring on the Nature of Distributional Politics

    10. The Slippery Slope to the Greek Crisis (2004-2009)

    11. The Greek Crisis (2009-2015)

    12. Conclusion: A New Insight into the Clientelist System


    Aris Trantidis is F.A. Hayek Fellow at George Mason University, the Mercatus Center, USA, and a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Political Economy, King’s College London, UK