The study of patron-client politics is new to the study of Hong Kong political science. This book examines whether patron-client relations are critical to the electoral victory of candidates; how the political elites cultivate support from clients in order to obtain more votes during local elections; and tests the extent to which whether patron-client relations are crucial in order for candidates to obtain more ballots during elections.
Covering patron-client politics and public administration in Hong Kong; the electoral dynamics including the Chief Executive elections and the Legislative Council elections; the cooptation of key elites by using patron-client mechanism; the study of the committees and elites who have been politically co-opted; the appointment mechanisms that have played a crucial role in patron-clientelism; and finally the China factor in the entire processes and politics of patron-client politics.
Bruce Kwong finds that the better candidates cultivate patron-client relations, the greater their chance of winning the election; and the smaller the size of the electoral constituency, the greater the impact of patron-client relations. Finally, the book stresses the role of Beijing as a powerful patron shaping the Hong Kong Chief Executive and the latter’s clients and analyzes the political implications and long-term consequences of patron-client politics in Hong Kong.