‘A Tradition We Don’t Mess With’: Party Patronage in Bulgaria

Maria Spirova

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

‘A Tradition We Don’t Mess With’: Party Patronage in Bulgaria

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This chapter situates the contemporary practice of party patronage in Bulgaria in the context of the communist legacy and party politics in Bulgaria. It describes the extent and nature of patronage appointments in the 2005–7 period, and investigates the motivations behind party patronage and the consequences it has for party government in Bulgaria. The main argument of the chapter is that party patronage continues to be highly relevant for the functioning of parties in the country, and that, unlike in most other European countries, it still maintains a somewhat higher function as a reward for party members and activists. While external factors such as the European Union integration process and NATO membership have managed to constrain the freedom of parties to engage in patronage somewhat, it remains an important organizational resource for contemporary Bulgarian political parties.

Keywords: Bulgaria; communist legacy; party politics; reward patronage; organizational resource

Chapter.  8879 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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