1st Edition

Clientelism and Patronage in the Middle East and North Africa Networks of Dependency

    256 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    One common demand in the 2011 uprisings in the MENA region was the call for ‘freedom, dignity, and social justice.’ Citizens rallied against corruption and clientelism, which for many protesters were deeply linked to political tyranny.

    This book takes the phenomenon of the 2011 uprisings as a point of departure for reassessing clientelism and patronage across the entire MENA region. Using case studies covering Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the Gulf monarchies, it looks at how the relationships within and between clientelist and patronage networks changed before 2011. The book assesses how these changes contributed to the destabilization of the established political and social order, and how they affected less visible political processes. It then turns to look at how the political transformations since 2011 have in turn reconfigured these networks in terms of strategies and dynamics, and concomitantly, what implications this has had for the inclusion or exclusion of new actors. Are specific networks expanding or shrinking in the post-2011 contexts? Do these networks reproduce established forms of patron-client relations or do they translate into new modes and mechanisms?

    As the first book to systematically discuss clientelism, patronage and corruption against the background of the 2011 uprisings, it will be a valuable resource for students and scholars of Middle Eastern Studies. The book also addresses major debates in comparative politics and political sociology by offering ‘networks of dependency’ as an interdisciplinary conceptual approach that can ‘travel’ across place and time.

    Introduction - Networks of Dependency, A Research Perspective, Laura Ruiz de Elvira, Christoph H. Schwarz, Irene Weipert-Fenner  

    Part I: Conceptualising Privilege and Dependency in the MENA Region 

    1. Multi-layered Dependency: Understanding the Transnational Dimension of Favouritism in the Middle East, Sina Birkholz 

    2. Theorizing Politics, Patronage, and Corruption in the Arab Monarchies of the Gulf, Matthew Gray

    Part II: Patron-Client Relations in the Neoliberal Era 

    3. Redistributive Politics, Clientelism and Political Patronage Under the AKP, Esra Çeviker Gürakar and Tuba Bircan 

    4. Cairo’s New Old Faces: Redrawing the Map of Patron-Client Networks after 2011, Mohamed Fahmy Menza 

    5. Neoliberal Reforms, Protests and Enforced Patron-Client Relations in Tunisia and Egypt, Mohamed Yaghi 

    6. The Reconfiguration of Clientelism and the Failure of Vote Buying in Lebanon, Tine Gade 

     Part III: The Role of Brokers for Networks of Dependency 

    7. Centre-Periphery Relations and the Reconfiguration of the State’s Patronage Networks in the Rif, Ángela Suárez-Collado 

    8. Networks of Dependencies and Governmentality in Southern Lebanon: Development and Re-Construction as Tools for Hezbollah’s Clientelist Strategies, Diana Zeidan 

    9. Patronage and Clientelism in Jordan: The Monarchy and the Tribes in the Wake of the "Arab Spring", Luis Melián Rodríguez


    Laura Ruiz de Elvira is a permanent researcher at the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD) in the CEPED research unit. Her research interests focus on civil society, commitment and social movements, political crisis and social policies, namely in Syria and Tunisia.

    Christoph H. Schwarz is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Research Network Reconfigurations at the Center for Near and Middle Eastern Studies (CNMS) at Philipps-University Marburg. His research interest include the moral economy of political protest, youth, education, gender relations, and migration.

    Irene Weipert-Fenner is a senior research fellow at the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF). She has worked on authoritarian regimes, political transformation and social movements in Egypt and Tunisia.