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With its deep economic crisis and dramatic political developments Greece has puzzled Europe and the world. What explains its long-standing problems and its incapacity to reform its economy?
Using an analytic narrative and a comparative approach, the book studies the pattern of economic reforms in Greece between 1985 and 2015. It finds that clientelism - the allocation of selective benefits by political actors (patrons) to their supporters (clients) - created a strong policy bias that prevented the country from implementing deep-cutting reforms. The book shows that the clientelist system differs from the general image of interest-group politics and that the typical view of clientelism, as individual exchange between patrons and clients, has not fully captured the wide range and implications of this phenomenon. From this, the author develops a theory on clientelism and policy-making, addressing key questions on the politics of economic reform, government autonomy and party politics.
The book is an essential addition to the literatures on clientelism, public choice theory, and comparative political economy. It will be of key interest to scholars and students of European Union politics, economic policy and party politics.