Reforms and Collective Action in a Clientelist Party System: Greece During the Mitsotakis Administration (1990-1993)
South European Society and Politics, 2014, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp. 215-243
21 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2016
Date Written: January 14, 2014
Economic reforms face a collective action problem: they trigger the reaction of groups that expect significant losses, while the anticipated gains are often dispersed across the population and too uncertain to animate strong popular support. This pattern may exhibit different characteristics in a clientelist economy where the affected groups are client groups under the protection of political parties. The reform agenda of the Mitsotakis government in Greece (1990-1993) illustrates that the collective action problem affects primarily the internal structure of the clientelist parties and thereby their capacity for political mobilisation. Reforms that depart from the established political equilibrium on economic policy will undermine the internal cohesion of the government party and will offer the opposition party the opportunity to strengthen its own unity and political mobilisation capacity.
Keywords: clientelism, collective action, political parties, labor unions, trade unions, economic reforms, Greece, patronage, Mitsotakis
JEL Classification: P1, P16, P5, P51, P52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation