Universitas Indonesia Conferences, 7th International Symposium of Journal Antropologi Indonesia

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Patron-Client Relationship: Between Anthropology and Political Science
Heddy Shri Ahimsa-Putra

Building: Soegondo Building
Room: 707
Date: 2019-07-26 08:00 AM – 09:30 AM
Last modified: 2019-06-18


Since the publication of Foster’s ethnography on patron-client relationships among the Tzin-tzuntzan in Mexico (1963), many anthropologists had followed his step to study, describe and analyze patron-client relationships within the societies they studied. Various terms have been used for those relationships, such as: clientship, clentelism, clientage and patronage. Studies of this phenomenon flourished further as some political scientists used patron-client model to ex-plain political dynamics in non-western countries, as they found that the model they have used in studying political phenomena in western countries could not cope with the socio-political reali-ties and problems in many non-western settings (Scott, 1972).

Fourteen years after Foster’s patronage ethnography, Friends, Followers and Factions: A Reader in Political Clientelism was published. A collection of articles on patron-client relation-ships in anthropology, sociology and political science -mostly from 1960-1970s-, the book is a landmark in patron-client studies. A lot has happened in patron-client studies since then, as an-thropologists, sociologists and political scientists continue their research on that topic. The question then is: What perspectives (paradigms) have been used by social scientists in studying patron-client relationships? What kinds of insights have been gained? What kinds of problems have been solved? What kinds of theories have been produced?

In this paper the author attempts to answer those questions. The paper will elucidate further how ideas, views, theories on patron-client relations were developed further by anthropologists, sociologists and political scientists in their studies