Is Clientelism good for the society?

Pakistan is a modern state but patrimony still exists into the roots of this country. At many instances politicians raised the slogans of meritocracy and bashed nepotism, but in reality they are the ones who nurture and nourish clientelism, patronage, & favoritism. Notwithstanding, It’s an accepted norm in our country because people in power have wonderfully utilized the economic concept of rent seeking  which elaborates that those who are enjoying the luxuries of power corridors aim to obtain financial gain and benefits through the manipulation of the distribution of economic resources.

However, the ongoing saga of the sugar scandal is also a living example of rent seeking concept as those who obtained power through lobbying got subsidies to accumulate wealth through unfair means. It’s very unfortunate that these unwanted economic concepts are still relevant and prevalent in Pakistan.

The worldwide governance indicators comprises six dimensions which includes, voice and accountability, regulatory quality, political stability & absence of violence, rule of law, government effectiveness & control of corruption. If one can delve deep into the criteria of governance indicators one can realize how ruthless this patronage and clientelism system could be for a developing country like Pakistan. All of these indicators are interlinked and intertwined like a vicious cycle if one thing goes wrong all the momentum and balance will go into the vain.

As per the study of the World Bank, OECD (organization for economic cooperation & development) multiple graphs have been developed to accentuate the importance of two worldwide governance indicators i.e. Government effectiveness and control of corruption. Most interestingly, countries where governments have performed effectively have higher government revenue as percentage of GDP like Singapore, Denmark & Netherlands. Similarly, another correlation was developed for countries which reflect that those countries that have squashed corruption are highly effective like Japan, Netherlands, France, Germany, Singapore & Denmark.

Institutionalization is not an easy process; those countries who are at par at Governance have worked arduously and earnestly for achieving it. The Germans have developed “The Rechtsstaat” which dates back to the 18th century, which means the rule of law or state based on justice and integrity. Nonetheless, the concept of separation of powers, civil society as an equal partner of state, Judiciary, executive, legislature and transparency are enshrined in it. Immanuel Kant, German philosopher, prophesied this philosophy in his writings and Vladmir Putin said” if you will ask what is a Rechtsstaat? I would say It is obedience to the existing law.”

Pakistan had a very patchy road towards political development. Anyhow the process is slow, but it should be backed by some vision and attention from the political and bureaucratic elite of this country. Rule of law and accountability shall not be compromised at any cost. Institutional reforms shall be initiated without any further delay and institutionalization must be encouraged in the country.

It was the bureaucracy that strongly developed executive institutions which had rescued Germany from two world wars because balanced institutes work as a catalyst in achieving the desired results.

Finally yet importantly, Countries having institutionalized democracies and less clientelism are the ones who rule the world.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the blog are the writer’s own opinion. Dunya News will not be held responsible for any kind of discrepancy. 

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