Political parties and the opportunity costs of patronage

Carolyn Warner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Analyses of patronage and political parties often start from the assumption that patronage is a vote-winning and useful organizational strategy for a political party. This paper questions this assumption and suggests that, for the political party using it, patronage exacts a variety of costs. These undermine the party's existence as an organization with a collective purpose, and even its vote-winning capacities. Examples from a number of different countries and parties illustrate the argument.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)533-548
Number of pages16
JournalParty Politics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


  • Opportunity costs
  • Patronage
  • Political parties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science


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