This project has three main objectives. First, it seeks to analyse the permeation, reach and evolution of political patronage in Portugal. In this end, it will develop a database of political appointments at both the local and national levels, that is expected to be of considerable use for the broader political science community. Secondly, it will use this database, as well as research within parties and public administration, to better understand the role that patronage can play in political processes. In particular, the aim is to evaluate how it impacts on party organisations, be it in terms of their entrenchment and intra-party dynamics; how it correlates with the evolution of party system dynamics and democratisation in Portugal; and finally, the role and impact of party patronage in policy-making processes. Finally, by being integrated in an international research network, this project aims at analysing the Portuguese case in a comparative perspective, and consequently widen the scope of its results.