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The Accusation of Clientelism: On the Interplay between Social Science, Mass Media, and Politics in the Critique of Irish Democracy

Die Anklage des Klientelismus: zum Zusammenspiel von Sozialwissenschaft, Massenmedien und Politik in der Kritik der irischen Demokratie

Kusche, Isabel


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Abstract The case of Ireland provides an example of a long-term critical reflection on the nature of democracy that is not linked to social movements. Instead it is the result of an interplay between social science research, mass media, and parliamentary debate, all of which employ the notion of clientelism. The structural feature on which the respective critique focuses is the peculiar relationship be-tween public representatives and voters in Ireland. It is strongly based in con-stituency service and individual brokerage and thus contradicts universalistic expectations towards modern politics. The article starts with a justification of the choice of the case and the theoretical framework, i.e. the sociology of critical capacity proposed by Boltanski and Thévenot. It then introduces records of parliamentary debates and newspaper articles as the empirical material and qualitative content analysis as the main method of analysis. Subsequent sections reconstruct the dynamics of the critical reflection over a thirty-year period and highlight significant patterns of critique and justification.
Thesaurusschlagwörter clientelism; Ireland; mass media; conception of democracy; democracy; parliamentarism; parliamentary debate; Boltanski, L; social change; legitimation; reporting; social research; historical development; political culture; social science; political action; content analysis
Klassifikation politische Willensbildung, politische Soziologie, politische Kultur
Freie Schlagwörter Critique; justification; orders of worth; qualitative analysis
Sprache Dokument Englisch
Publikationsjahr 2017
Seitenangabe S. 172-195
Zeitschriftentitel Historical Social Research, 42 (2017) 3
Heftthema Critique and Social Change: Historical, Cultural, and Institutional Perspectives
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.12759/hsr.42.2017.3.172-195
ISSN 0172-6404
Status Veröffentlichungsversion; begutachtet (peer reviewed)
Lizenz Creative Commons - Namensnennung, Nicht-kommerz. 4.0