Party Patronage in Germany: The Strategic Use of Appointments

Stefanie John and Thomas Poguntke

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 in Germany: The Strategic Use of Appointments

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German political parties face a complex federal state architecture composed of many multifaceted state-related institutions at different political levels. By analysing political party behaviour at the federal and Land levels separately, this chapter shows whether and to what extent German parties exploit the institutional opportunity structure for party patronage. After an overview of German federalism and party organization, detailed empirical results are presented. Our results are mixed, even though it is evident that party patronage is primarily driven by individual party political actors and not by political parties as collective actors. In addition to political and personal loyalty, professionalism is an important selection criterion for partisan appointments. This implies that German parties no longer pursue a strategy of satisfying their members but of finding the best and most trustworthy personnel to secure policy implementation.

Keywords: German political parties; party patronage; trustworthy personnel; policy implementation

Chapter.  9208 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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