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versión On-line ISSN 1607-050X


BANEGAS, Richard. Electoral Clientelism and Political Subjectification in Africa. A Benin Case Study. Desacatos [online]. 2011, n.36, pp. 33-48. ISSN 1607-050X.

20 years after the reintroduction of multipartism, the democratization process seems to be a global failure in Africa. Yet, this article argues that the configuration of the public sphere has been deeply disrupted by the institutionalisation of universal suffrage. Although competitive voting has failed to fundamentally transform the structures of power, it has produced significant shifts within the popular imaginaries of power and legitimacy. But these changes remain a highly ambivalent and paradoxical process: the Beninese case study shows that it is partly in the melting pot of electoral clientelism that people learn how to vote, and "civic virtues" assert themselves. For a fuller understanding of this process of democratic subjectification, we must analyse the material culture of voting transactions in their most concrete aspect. In this respect, the domestication of an "imported" democratic modernity is inextricably linked to the globalization of goods and objects belonging to the "material civilization of success".

Palabras llave : democratization; clientelism; electoral mobilization; political subjectification; moral economy; material culture of voting.

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