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Takis S. Pappas, "Patrons Against Partisans: The Politics of Patronage in Mass Ideological Parties," Party Politics, 15 (May 2009), 315-334.

First paragraph:
Contrary to older perceptions presuming political patronage to be inimical to modern democracy and, for this reason, ultimately doomed to disappear (for a review, see Roniger, 2004), recent research has accepted that patronage is a ubiquitous and enduring feature of contemporary politics (Blondel, 2002; Dalton and Wattenberg, 2001; Katz and Mair, 1995; Kitschelt, 2000; Piattoni, 2001; van Biezen, 2000, 2004; van Biezen and Kopecky´, 2007). Even so, most researchers still associate patronage politics with long-established parties that have built close relationships with their respective states and lack ideological definition. To such traditional parties, patronage is a convenient strategy for winning elections through the selective distribution of public goods. In contrast, new 'parties [that are] founded by outsiders - by leaders who do not occupy positions within the pre-existing regime - are compelled to rely upon ideological and solidary incentives' in order to contest power (Shefter, 1994: 27; emphasis added). This view is well illustrated by the experience of the nineteenth-century European socialist parties, which relied for electoral success on ideological and programmatic appeals rather than patronagebased promises. Yet, in reality, not every new, mass-based and ideological party is patronage-free. When, and under what conditions, is patronage politics most likely to emerge in modern parties?

Figures and Tables:
Table 1. PASOK's office-holders in 1977 (total 93)
Figure 1. Patronage politics in parties with strong leadership: alternative responses and outcomes

Last Paragraph:
More generally, the preceding analysis contains valuable lessons for the ever-expanding literature on patronage politics. It first of all points to the compatibility of patronage with modern, mass-based and ideological parties; in such parties, patronage politics may not be antagonistic, but develop in parallel with programmatic appeals. Secondly, this analysis suggests instrumentalizing patronage and approaching it as an intended outcome of intrinsic party processes. Given that each party is 'a miniature political system' (Eldersveld, 1964: 1), patronage develops between the various party subunits over the distribution of intra-party power. In this sense, patronage is not only more modern but also more widespread than is commonly assumed. Finally, this article proposes an explanation of the development and further dynamics of patronage by looking precisely at the intra-party power configurations of the unit under consideration. This last point should not be missed by researchers involved in the comparative study of patronage in contemporary politics.

Last updated April 2009