Gherghina, S.  and Lutai, R. (2023) Who accepts electoral clientelism? The role of personality traits in Romania. Journal of Contemporary European Studies.

Personality traits have an impact on citizens’ political participation especially in relation to voting. However, we know little about how personality traits can influence people’s attitudes towards electoral clientelism. The latter is associated with voting in many societies and has been explained so far mainly through political, social and economic determinants. This article focuses on the psychological dimension and seeks to analyze how personality traits have an effect on citizens’ acceptance of electoral clientelism. It distinguishes between three forms of clientelism: vote-buying, product provision and job promises. The statistical analysis uses the Big Five framework and individual-level data from an original survey conducted in Romania after the September 2020 local elections. The results show that only a small share of voters accept electoral clientelism. Conscientiousness, Extraversion and Agreeableness drive the acceptance of different forms of clientelism under specific circumstances.