Exchanging Material Benefits for Political Support: A Comparative Analysis

Eva Etzioni-Halevy

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This chapter presents a comparative study of Britain, the United States, and Israel, focusing on the exchange of private material benefits for political support. Such practices have been dealt with by various scholars under the heading of "machine politics" or "clientelism." While the use of material benefits by political elites is considered legitimate on the collective level, it is considered increasingly illegitimate as one moves down to the individual level, where it usually contravenes accepted rules of the democratic process and falls under the headings of "political corruption." A theory proposed by Heidenheimer involves the development of the elites' structure and power: according to this theory, electoral corruption and specifically the offering of material inducements arose where electoral assemblies, political parties, or other political instruments of mass mobilization were powerful prior to the development of a centralized, powerful, bureaucratized civil service. Conversely, it was curbed where fully developed bureaucracies antedate political parties.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolitical Corruption
Subtitle of host publicationConcepts and Contexts: Third Edition
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781351498975
ISBN (Print)0765807610, 9780765807618
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2002 by Taylor and Francis. All rights reserved.


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