Political Competition and Party Patronage: Public Appointments in Ghana and South Africa
Version of Record online: 27 MAY 2011
© 2011 The Author. Political Studies © 2011 Political Studies Association
Volume 59, Issue 3, pages 713–732, October 2011
How to Cite
Kopecký, P. (2011), Political Competition and Party Patronage: Public Appointments in Ghana and South Africa. Political Studies, 59: 713–732. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9248.2011.00887.x
- Issue online: 8 SEP 2011
- Version of Record online: 27 MAY 2011
- (Accepted: 7 July 2010).
- party competition;
- party patronage;
- new democracies;
- South Africa
State exploitation by political parties is one of the key problems of new democracies. This article looks at party patronage as one of the ways through which political parties exploit the state. It focuses on two new African democracies – Ghana and South Africa – and using the data from an original expert survey explores party appointments across a wide range of state institutions. It also uses these data to illustrate some of the theoretical issues related to the existence of patronage practices. In particular, the article probes into a widespread claim that robust party competition constrains politicians and hence limits patronage politics. Contrary to those theoretical expectations, the article finds that patronage in new democracies is not necessarily higher in a less competitive party system. The article then considers factors other than party competition that might explain this unexpected empirical outcome; it also suggests a theoretical argument positing compatibility between high levels of patronage and robust political competition.