Authoritarian clientelism: the case of the president's 'creatures' in Cameroon

Sergiu Mişcoiu, Louis-Marie Kakdeu
2021 Acta Politica  
AbstractWithin this article, we aim at exploring the topic of clientelism in Cameroon as a species of a wider phenomenon affecting Central and Western Francophone Africa. Our argument is that, in spite of the repeated efforts of reinforcing the local power structures, we have witnessed a process of centralisation of clientelism: the new networks are shaped around the 'Creatures', who are the President Paul Biya's formal or informal appointees and play the role of nodal elements relying the rest
more » ... of the chain to the central command. This happened on the expenses of the locally dispersed and more autonomous clientelistic groups that were either included in or smashed by the pyramidal Creatures' structured. In order to test our assumption, we analysed a specific body of literature on the theorization of clientelism and on its African and Cameroonian specificity and organized four focus groups with the actual and former members of the clientelistic chains at different levels (central, regional and local). If our main presupposition proved to be generally correct, one of the sub-arguments was only partially validated through this empirical component of our research.
doi:10.1057/s41269-020-00188-y fatcat:h5yyki4iwvadzgaxxncdby4hpy