Informal Institutions and Governance: Examining the Impact of Clientelism on Electoral Accountability in Rural Punjab, Pakistan
Author: Zahid Aqil

Elections are instruments of democratic good governance. These empower citizens to formally express their will by choosing between policy alternatives presented by contending candidates and political parties, and hold them accountable through their vote. Nonetheless, poverty and dependence of the voters has the potential to undermine the choices of the electorates through patron-client networks. This study examines the extent to which electoral politics in rural Pakistan is dominated by clientelism and measures its impact on electoral accountability in the country. Quantitative and qualitative evidence from district Kasur of the Punjab province suggests that electoral politics in rural Pakistan is dominated by clientelism which undermines electoral accountability in the country. Correlational analysis of the three indices of; dependence, clientelistic voting choices and electoral accountability capacity suggests that more dependent a household is the more clientelistic it is in its voting choices and is less able to hold accountable her vote bloc leader or candidate for legislative assembly. Supervisor:- Dr. Idrees Khawaja

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Keywords : Electoral Accountability, GOVERNANCE, Informal Institutions, Pakistan, Rural Punjab
Supervisor: Muhammad Idrees Khawaja

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