International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Clientelism and Social Trust in Comparative Perspective: Particularism versus Universalism
Davide Torsello

The study of clientelism is a complex endeavour calling for attentive analyses of the social processes implied and defined by the practices involved. I believe that an anthropological comparative approach can help to overcome some of the shortcomings of mainstream political theory, especially as far as the integration of a top-down perspective with a ground-level approach is concerned. The aim of this paper is to shed some lights into the problem whether clientelism can be tackled as a universal phenomenon, even though there is abundant anthropological evidence of its different socio-cultural connotations. I will make use of empirical data which I collected through fieldwork research in three different regional contexts: Central Eastern Europe, Southern Italy and Japan.

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