How do Soviet politicians rise to power? How are national and regional regimes formed? How are conflicting political interests brought together as policies are developed in the Soviet Union? In Patronage and Politics in the USSR, first published in 1991, Professor John Willerton offers major insights into the patronage networks that have dominated elite mobility, regime formation, and governance in the Soviet Union during the past twenty-five years. Using the biographical and career details of over two thousand national leaders and regional officials in Azerbaijan and Lithuania, John Willerton traces the patron-client relations underlying recruitment, mobility, and policymaking. He explores the strategies of power consolidation and coalition building used by Soviet chief executives since 1964 as well as the institutional links and policy outcomes that have resulted from network politics. The author also assesses the manner and extent to which leaders in politically stable and less stable settings, spanning different national cultural contexts, have relied upon patronage networks to consolidate power and to govern. Finally, Professor Willerton explores how, in a period of dramatic change, patron-client networks may have given way to institutionalised interest groups and political parties.