Institute for Middle East Studies
POMEPS is pleased to announce the Washington, D.C., book launch of Winning Hearts and Votes: Social Services and the Islamist Political Advantage by Steven T. Brooke. In Winning Hearts and Votes, Steven Brooke argues that authoritarians often seek to manage moments of economic crisis by offloading social welfare responsibilities to non-state providers. But providers who serve poorer citizens, motivated by either charity of clientelism, will be constrained in their ability to mobilize voters because the poor depend on the state for many different goods. Organizations that serve paying customers, in contrast, may produce high quality, consistent, and effective services. This type of provision generates powerful, reputation-based linkages with a middle-class constituency more likely to support the provider on election day.
Steven Brooke is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Louisville and Associate Fellow (Non-Resident) at the Middle East Initiative, Harvard Kennedy School.