What is patronage? A critical reexamination

Despite a long and storied history, patronage and the functions it plays in American politics and public administration are still very much a mystery. This paper examines how patronage has been used and understood in American political science and public administration. The author calls for a reexamination of the concept based on developments found in the field of anthropology. In an effort to generate future scholarship, the author introduces a typology of patronage styles based on this reexamination.

Despite a long and storied history, patronage and the functions it plays in American politics and public administration are still very much a mystery. This paper examines how patronage has been used and understood in American political science and public administration. The author calls for a reexamination of the concept based on developments found in the field of anthropology. In an effort to generate future scholarship, the author introduces a typology of patronage styles based on this reexamination.

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Categories: Current Issues, Ethics, Foundations of PA, Leadership, Org Theory, PA Theory, Public Policy