Surviving Election: Corruption and Transformation of Clientelism

Caroline Paskarina(1*)

(1) Departemen Ilmu Politik Fakultas Ilmu Sosial dan Ilmu Politik Universitas Padjadjaran
(*) Corresponding Author


This article discusses clientelism practice as a political machine to mobilise supports for the candidates of district head who were trapped in a corruption case. This research especially intended to answer the question why the incumbent candidate of district head who had become the suspect of cases of corruption, still got relatively significant votes. Although the incumbent failed to win in the pilkada (the election of the district head), the votes that they got became the reason to uncover the redistribution and infrastructure strategy that was used to muffle the image of the incumbent as a corrupt politician. The findings of this research indicated that supporting political parties used the corruption case as a momentum to change the pattern of clientelism, by transforming the personal loyalty to the party loyalty. The political party institutionally took a role as a patron, so that the personal dependency to the elites decreased, but also was directed to a wider variation of the use of public resources for the sake of mobilising support. By using this strategy, the coalition of political party in “tim sukses” maintained their solidarity as well as redeveloped the patron structure that was weakened by corruption cases. The strategy change used by “tim sukses” in reframing the corruption issues indicated the work of clientelism networking to justify the new construction about corruption cases done by the incumbents, so that the incumbents remained able to get votes although they had been considered as the suspects in those cases.


clientalism; corruption; patronage networking

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