Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Agranoff, Robert||Johnson, William C. (William Carl), 1937-

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Political Science


Patronage; Political


This study is an examination of the role of political patronage in one county party organization. It is an attempt to apply some of the basic assumptions about the uses of patronage to actual experience in the Democratic party of Winnebago County. This is done in order to determine the role patronage jobholders perform in the party and the contribution patronage makes to the organization. Since this party's only source of patronage is the State, the study is limited to the patronage handed down to the county organization from the Governor’s office and the Secretary of State’s office. It has generally been assumed that patronage can provide a system of incentive and reward, an inducement to attract supporters and financial contributions, provide internal stability, and a means of disciplining party workers. However, the degree to which patronage is able to perform these functions is in large part unknown because it has been subject to few empirical tests. The aim of this study is to determine the degree to which patronage is able to perform these functions in one party organization. In order to test these hypotheses interviews and questionnaires were used. Extensive interviews were conducted with twelve party leaders who have been Involved with the distribution of patronage jobs, either as county chairman, or as members of a patronage committee. Also, questionnaires were submitted to patronage Jobholders and to a sample of twenty precinct committeemen in the party. In addition to the questionnaires, occasional reference was made to some magazine articles and other selected studies.


Includes bibliographical references.


viii, 109 pages




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