An Introduction to:
THE DYADIC BASIS OF CLIENTELISM
Friends, Followers and Factions
By Carl H. Landé
Registration Nr. 1775876
DENGO /FB 8 June 3rd, 2005
Professor Rainer Dumbois
Corruption and Clientelism in the Development Context
The Dyadic Basis of Clientelism
Amongthe terms used to denote interpersonal relationships and combinations of such relationships of varying degrees of complexity and magnitude are dyadic relationships,
dyadic non –corporate groups and social networks, which have significance for political analysis:
• Dyadic relationships are composed of only two individuals and are micro level entities.
• Dyadic non –corporate groups(i.e. patron-client systems or clienteles) consists of sets of dyadic relationships linked together and are at middle level combinations. These individuals are involved in relationships, which rely heavily upon personal attachment.
• Social Networks are the totality of dyadic relationships, or several dyadic relationships, within a social field.
A dyadicrelationship connotes personal attachment. It is a voluntary agreement between two individuals, which involves to come to each other’s aid in time of need and to exchange favors. It can be voluntary or obligatory for one or both members. It can exist between two persons of equal or unequal socio economic status. It can be of short duration, last a lifetime or be carried on from generation to generation bythe descendants of those who created the original dyad. It can be with diffuse or shape specific obligations. Each ally is expected to help the other in extreme emergencies, i.e. when aid is most needed. Both allies are expected to display altruism towards each other.
The exchange of favors serve as means of maintaining a dyadic alliance, as well as to bind together two allies who can count oneach other’s help in time of need. A favor is something received on terms more advantageous than those that can be obtained by anyone on the market or which cannot be obtained on the market at all. A dyadic exchange consist of the pursuit of private goals. The ally commits himself to pay the full price for what he receives trough dyadic exchange. Those engaged in dyadic trading often are individualswho are unalike. Each has sought out the other because the latter has something that he needs but lacks.
Dyadic alliances involve diffuse obligations, because there is an absence of legal impediments capable of enforcing formal contracts. Or because the individuals prefer not to put their relationship on a contractual basis, or to make it subject to legal oversight. Networks that exist in thecriminal underworld illustrate this point.
In the absence of legal impediments, one member of an alliance may be strongly tempted to let the alliance come to an end, while the other wishes to maintain it. To maximize the probability that obligations incurred through such alliances will be honored, various non-legal methods in addition to the exchange of favors must be employed. These are normsof reciprocity and of personal loyalty. The Norm of reciprocity demands the people involved to help those who have helped them and not injure those who have helped them. This norm if respected assures that unrepaid favors will be repaid. To assure an undefined continuance of a dyadic alliance, a useful procedure for dyadic alliance-builders is to load an ally with an “unrepayable debt” at a timeof great need or at great cost. Accepting such a debt means that the indebted ally cannot break the alliance, and must always be ready to respond to a call for aid, unless he can repay with a favor that is itself of such “unrepayable” magnitude that it cancels out the initial debt. The norm of personal loyalty is used to strengthen dyadic alliances, especially if they are long standing, it...