Placing clientelism and vote buying in context: An African synopsis of the phenomena
The aim of this paper is to provide a synopsis of clientelism and vote buying as a phenomena prevalent to the political landscape in Africa. The argument is that, the use of public goods and resources by political parties to ‘buy’ votes provides an unfair playing ground especially for smaller parties who do not have authority in government resources. A plethora of literature point out to the fact that clientelism and vote buying have long
been existing in the African elections polity. However, the phenomena are rife given the desire to control large state resources to the benefit of those running the state machinery. This paper relies on both primary and secondary available data to interrogate the existence and relevance of clientelism and vote buying in the African continent.
Keywords: Clientelism, Vote buying, Patronage, Africa, Politics