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Dr. Jeanne Hersant Menares (01.06.2008 - 31.05.2010)

Patrons, Clients and Friends in Greek local politics

Aktuelle Tätigkeit

Directora de la Carrera de Sociología

Universität Andrés Bello, Santiago de Chile


Angaben zur Person

Born 26/05/1977
Kontakt: jhersant@unab.cl und http://jeannehersant.hautetfort.com

Research Project :

Patrons, Clients and Friends in local politics in Greece

The present project deals with patterns of local politics: patron-client relations between politicians and the citizens they are responsible for, and also the alliances and solidarity building between them in order to have an influence on the decision-making process at the national level[1]. Several study areas are concerned, such as “local” studies – especially those dealing with clientelist practices and networks but also local democracy studies – and European studies. This project aims at realising a comparative study on three Greek regions: Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, Peloponnese, Crete.

This project’s starting point lies in the fact that the study of local political practices in Greece remains underdeveloped. It is related to the local administration reform: since 1994 the heads of local administrative divisions, which are called nomos in Greek, have been elected whereas in other centralized states such as France or Turkey persons entitled with local authority (préfet in France, vali in Turkey) are high rank civil servants appointed by the current government. Such a situation raises different questions: As elected representatives, what are the scope of prerogatives of nomos heads, in comparison with the provinces heads, who are appointed by the government ? In what extent does the creation of an elective charge change the party allegiance systems, the redistributive mechanisms and the political practices at the local level ? I will take into account the practical aspect of relations between party leaders, NGO actors and citizens and nomos heads, because the latter play a role in the allocation of public resources, be they material or symbolic, whereas they are both State representatives and politicians.

This research project intends to confront this hypothesis to empirical material in the Greek case. It is an opportunity of going beyond the cliché according to which Greece is supposed to be “corrupted”, “clientelist”, “inefficient”, “European Union’s worst pupil”. My aim is to emphasize the so-called clientelist practices’ evolution, through the principles underlying wealth distribution and redistribution. I will also pay attention to the ones underlying the decision making process at a local level. Clientele relations indeed do not epitomize the whole “special types of interpersonal relations – above all (...) friendship, ritual personal and patron-client relationships – and their connections to the institutional matrix in which they develop”[2]. Interpersonal relations will be considered from the point of view of the decision making process and the elaboration of public issues, as a mode of public action’s implementation and even as a way of articulating local and national scales.

[1] See for instance François-Mathieu Poupeau « La fabrique d’une solidarité nationale. L’État et les élus ruraux dans l’adoption d’une péréquation des tarifs de l’électricité en France » [The making of a national solidarity. The state and rural elected representatives in the passing of the balancing out of electricity prices], Revue française de science politique, 2007, vol. 57, n° 5, p. 599-628.

[2] Samuel Eisenstadt & Luis Roniger, Patrons, Clients and Friends. Interpersonal Relations and the Structure of Trust in Society, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1984, p. 1.

[c1]Je mettrais les titres en francais et ensuite la traduction. Ca permet de retrouver la reference si necessaire.


  • Postadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    c/o Historisches Seminar
    Rempartstr. 15 - KG IV
    79085 Freiburg 
  • Besuchsadresse:

    Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg
    DFG-Graduiertenkolleg 1288
    Erbprinzenstraße 13
    79098 Freiburg
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