version ISSN 0718-6568
GARCIA OJEDA, Mauricio. Social capital and patronage: another constraint on social control. Polis [online]. 2011, vol.10, n.29, pp. 123-146. ISSN 0718-6568. doi: 10.4067/S0718-65682011000200006.
In contrast to the positive effects of social capital, various authors draw attention to its "dark side". In this article we explore one of its manifestations. We propose that social capital can be used by politicians in patronage relationships to coerce citizens, conditioning the continuity of these relationships if citizens use social control mechanisms to punish them. Therefore, we propose that social capital may limit the exercise of social control. After making analytical distinctions on social capital, we analyze the relationship between citizens and politicians from the principal-agent theory, and to explain the asymmetry of power between them we use the theory of contested exchange put forward by the radical political economy. The central thesis is that as capital favors domination of the workers in capitalist labor markets, social capital can encourage citizens to rule on patronage relationships.
Keywords : social capital; social control; theory of contested exchange; power asymmetry.