Date of Award


Document Type



Community Development

First Advisor

Gerald Sussman


Patron and client -- Argentina -- Buenos Aires, Political patronage -- Argentina -- Buenos Aires, Henri Lefebvre (1901-1991) -- Criticism and interpretation, Argentina -- Politics and government -- 20th century, Argentina -- Economic conditions -- 20th century




This research examines the relationship between neoliberalism, clientelism, and citizen’s right to the city in the province of Buenos Aires. In the early 1990s a wave of neoliberal economic reform swept through Argentina. The social ramifications of this economic restructuring left many citizens marginalized and disenfranchised. In order to make ends meet, poor citizens exchanged their votes to receive basic necessities in a practice called clientelism. Urban clientelism, or the exchange of votes for goods, is analyzed within the theoretical understanding of Henri Lefebvre’s right to the city. Ethnographic accounts detailing the relationship between clientelist brokers and community residents in Buenos Aires are examined through the lens of Lefebvre’s ideals. In the relationship of clientelism, the relationship between state brokers and community residents demonstrate how clientelism puts democracy at risk. When placed in the framework of Lefebvre, clientelism is shown to be a perversion of the right to the city.


An undergraduate honors thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Science in University Honors and Community Development.

Persistent Identifier