Party Patronage in Austria: From Reward to Control
This chapter seeks to provide up-to-date empirical information on party patronage in Austria. The results of the empirical analysis indicate that patronage practices have undergone a significant transformation over the past fifteen or twenty years. Austria still belongs to the countries with high levels of patronage. However, the old system of mass patronage has given way to elite patronage, primarily targeting leadership positions, thus decreasing the depth of patronage. More importantly, Austria has witnessed a change in the logic of party patronage: while party political appointments used to be mostly reward-driven, the main goal of the current system is to gain control over institutions that are crucial for policy delivery. The chapter argues that the electoral and public pressure exerted by the anti-Proporz campaign of Haider’s Freedom Party played a key role in transforming the Austrian patronage system.
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