Party Patronage in Greece: Political Entrepreneurship in a Party Patronage Democracy

Takis S. Pappas and Zina Assimakopoulou

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 Greece: Political Entrepreneurship in a Party Patronage Democracy

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Before the Greek debt crisis began in 2009, few were aware of the scale of patronage politics in contemporary Greece, and the ways it has for a long time affected the country’s policy-making. This chapter presents the first in-depth empirical analysis of Greece as a model case of ‘patronage democracy’ in the European context. It shows that the scope and reach of patronage in Greece have been the highest in Europe, and points to several state-related mechanisms that have facilitated such a growth. Although patronage is clearly evident at both the top and the bottom end of public administration, its functions have been different: control in the former case, reward in the latter one. Patronage is, moreover, shown not to have been the result of political parties acting as unitary actors but rather of individual political entrepreneurs thriving inside parties and using state-related resources for individual political gains.

Keywords: Greece; patronage democracy; Greek debt crisis; Pasok; two-party politics; polarization; statism

Chapter.  8443 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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