Definition of clientelism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌklīənˈtelˌizəm/ /ˌklē-/
(also clientism /ˈklīənˌtizəm/)


A social order that depends upon relations of patronage; in particular, a political approach that emphasizes or exploits such relations.
Example sentences
  • The country still suffers from extensive clientelism, patronage, and corruption in anything the government does.
  • Novel aspects of state society relations such as clientelism and patrimonialism were opened up to inquiry.
  • Extended kinship relations may create clientelism and protectionism as well as organized crime.



Pronunciation: /-telˈistik/
Example sentences
  • Elections were controlled through a clientelistic system based on the influence of landowners who thus wielded considerable power.
  • Fascism thus laid the foundation for the post-war creation of a sectional and clientelistic system of welfare.
  • The two majority parties have a long tradition of populist politics and they are quite prone to create clientelistic relations.


1970s: from Italian clientelismo 'patronage system'.

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