This thesis explores the connections between Mexico’s contemporary democratization process and its enduring legacies of political clientelism. The substantive focus is on the social welfare and anti-poverty policy arena historically built on patron-client relationships, machine politics, and exchanges of public benefits for electoral loyalty. The current administration of Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) and the National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) campaigned on an anti-corruption and anti-patronage platform. Once in power, MORENA launched a major redesign of social welfare programs with the desired goal of eliminating the remaining linkages of patronage held by the state. This study provides a theoretical background in the literature of democratization and neopatrimonialism of developing worlds. It explores clientelism in Mexico’s unique political history, and contemporary reforms to social welfare in the context of democratic transition. Empirically, the study evaluates the elimination or persistence of clientelism across a new generation of social welfare programs, based on content analysis of government documents, and supplemented with a brief case study of the 2021 midterm election. The findings are mixed and somewhat inconclusive, due partly to data limitations. The thesis highlights the firm stance the administration has taken against the vestiges of clientelism that still remain in social welfare programs, seeing some confirmation of success in the electoral process and outcome. However, additional research will be needed to conclusively determine whether the administration’s new agencies and program reforms are genuinely eliminating clientelism, or enabling its perpetuation in new forms.