Party Patronage in Spain: Appointments for Party Government

Raúl Gómez, European University Institute, Tània Verge and Universitat Pompeu Fabra

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 Spain: Appointments for Party Government

Show Summary Details


This chapter examines the characteristics of party patronage in Spain. Appointments have been extensively used since the transition to democracy by Spanish parties, but the depth of patronage practices is nonetheless limited, mostly due to constitutional constraints and the influence of the bureaucratic corps. Thus, Spain presents a sort of dual system. At the top level, political appointments are made in most policy areas and turnover rates are extremely high when governments change, and at the lower levels a more protective civil service system prevails. Adversarial politics explains why parties clearly use appointments as a tool of party government, as they are concerned that their sympathizers control both the functioning of the public administration and the policy-making process. Finally, although appointments have helped Spanish parties to develop their organization, this has not been a significant feature of electoral mobilization, nor has it entailed clientelistic practices.

Keywords: spain; party patronage; adversarial politics; spanish political parties; multilevel government

Chapter.  7345 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.