Party Patronage as an Organizational Resource

Petr Kopecky and Peter Mair

in Party Patronage and Party Government in European Democracies

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599370
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191741517 | DOI:

Series: Comparative Politics

Party Patronage as an Organizational Resource

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This chapter provides a theoretical and conceptual background to the entire volume. This chapter shows, firstly, that traditional literature associates patronage with electoral strategies and resources, as a form of particularistic exchange between the party and its supporters in which state resources are traded for political support. The chapter hypothesizes that these traditional forms of patronage have declined in contemporary European democracies. Secondly, the chapter elaborates our own perspective on party patronage as an organizational resource, defining it as a power of parties to appoint people to positions in public and semi-public life. Finally, the chapter provides several arguments contending that patronage as an organizational resource is likely to become an increasingly important strategy through which parties in contemporary democracies try to ensure their organizational survival and success. At the same time, the chapter argues that such patronage might increasingly become less identifiable with partisanship in the traditional party government sense of the term.

Keywords: party patronage; clientelism; corruption; electoral resource; organizational resource

Chapter.  6747 words. 

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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