Party Patronage in Ireland: Changing Parameters

Eoin O’Malley, Stephen Quinlan 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 in Ireland: Changing Parameters

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This chapter looks at the changing parameters of party patronage in Ireland. There are good reasons to expect that party patronage would be extensive, because there is a culture of clientelism and the political system is usually thought of as lacking an ideological division. Though there is evidence of party patronage and that it is politically important, the extent of the patronage is comparatively limited. Furthermore, though the scope for patronage as a means of controlling policy has expanded in recent years with agencification, there is limited evidence that those who control patronage (primarily ministers) do so to control or observe policy. In fact the logic for most appointments seems to be the maintenance of personal networks, tempered by the need to avoid media flak and to prevent damaging mistakes.

Keywords: Ireland; party patronage; clientelism; agencification; party influence; political networks; political elites

Chapter.  10864 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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