This article examines the evolution of patron-client relationships in Greece, Spain, and Turkey through the prism of the rural-urban divide. It traces which modes of clientelism (rural or urban) are more evident in these countries today, and why. Further, it finds that in rural modes of clientelism, normative bonds of deference and loyalty with a Weberian notion of traditional authority' and affective ties between political patrons and clients are more observable whereas urban modes of clientelism usually yield Downsian competition between political machines with more coercive motives. It suggests that these two notions of clientelism are not mutually exclusive but should rather be seen in a continuum. More generally, this article demonstrates the need in the existing literature for more contextualized analyses that take into account differences between socioeconomic and geographical antecedents of rural vs. urban clientelism and their divergent political reflections.