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The Politics of Subnational Coalition Building. Gubernatorial Redistributive Strategies in Argentina and Brazil

Lodola, German J (2011) The Politics of Subnational Coalition Building. Gubernatorial Redistributive Strategies in Argentina and Brazil. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This dissertation unfolds subnational political phenomena by engaging questions about redistributive politics and territorial power-building. How do state governors in federal systems strategically harness public expenditures to influence vote choice? What causes these leaders to emphasize the allocation of private versus semi-public goods? Are governors rewarded for their redistributive efforts at the ballot box? And if this is the case, why are some governors able to retain power during long periods of time while others are not? These issues are investigated both within and between Argentina and Brazil, two federations regarded as textbook examples of robust federalism, during the post-authoritarian period.The argument has two causal chains. The first chain espouses that variation in subnational redistributive politics is attributable to the structure of fiscal federalism and political careerism. Gubernatorial incentives for private allocations (patronage or public employment) are stronger where, such as in Argentina, fiscal institutions concentrate access to federal transfers at the state level and grant governors high discretion over these funds, and electoral and partisan rules foster party-centered political careers. By contrast, gubernatorial incentives for semi-public allocations (pork-barrel or infrastructure projects) are stronger where, such as in Brazil, fiscal institutions disperse access to federal transfers among political actors and limit governors' discretion in spending, and electoral and partisan rules maximize candidate-centered political careers.The second causal chain links subnational redistributive politics with incumbents' electoral returns. Statistical analyses indicate that patronage tend to benefit Argentine (but not Brazilian) governors, while pork-barrel benefits Brazilian (but not Argentine) ones. These different returns are explained by stressing the role of political competition and delivering networks of support. It is finally argued that extensive patronage-based networks as found in Argentina contribute to subnational incumbent stability by shaping expectations about the future distribution of public jobs over a stable web of party operatives, who are able to dissuade voters from migrating to the opposition. In contrast, pork-barrel networks as found in Brazil are less conducive to incumbent stability because they are weakly enmeshed in society so as to monitor voter behavior.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Lodola, German
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairAmes, Barrybarrya@pitt.eduBARRYA
Committee MemberPerez-Linan, Anibalasp27@pitt.eduASP27
Committee MemberMorgenstern, Scottsmorgens@pitt.eduSMORGENS
Committee MemberKeech,
Date: 30 January 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 December 2010
Approval Date: 30 January 2011
Submission Date: 9 December 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Political Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Subnational Governors Federalism Clientelism Argen
Other ID:, etd-12092010-102102
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:09
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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