Daily Patronage Politics: A Village Chief’s Route to Power


Devy Dhian Cahyati(1*), Yonatan Hans Luter Lopo(2)

(1) Universitas Gadjah Mada
(2) Universitas Gadjah Mada
(*) Corresponding Author


This article discusses the politics of  patronage used by incumbents in contesting village chief elections. Through observations and interviews conducted before and after the 2018 village chief  elections in Klangor Village, Galur District, Kulon Progo Regency, the researchers explored the strategies used by the incumbent to contest the election and seek re-election. At the village level, the politics of  patronage function differently than at higher levels of  government. The authors argue that incumbents do not only create patronage networks during elections, during which voters are provide money or other gifts; they create patronage networks during their everyday activities. Using the economic resources available to them, incumbents combine three approaches to patronage: benevolence politics, scare-off tactics, and money politics. In this article, the authors argue that the incumbent redefined money, transforming it from a means of  conducting transactions into a means of  appreciating and rewarding voters. By using this strategy, incumbents can guarantee supporters’ loyalty and receive their votes.


patronage, village chief elections, gifts, vote buying, economic base, benevolence politics

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22146/pcd.51737

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