'You block the road , I give you something'. Political Clientelism in relation to Democracy and Citizenship in Gran Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Based on ethnographic fieldwork in two bordering and poor neighbourhoods in La Matanza, Gran Buenos Aires, this thesis studies the relation between political clientelism, democracy and citizenship. It analyzes the different forms of clientelism and the web of relations in which poor excluded people are connected to political brokers and piquetero organizations in order to obtain food, goods, social assistance programs and solutions to everyday concerns. This study also explores the functioning of key concepts of democracy and citizenship within clientelist exchange relationships, which are accountability, agency, and the claiming of rights, and pays specific attention to a central 'direct democracy' system in the organization of the piqueteros.