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Political Corruption and Electoral Funding: A Cross-National Analysis
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Criminology.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3400-9313
2013 (English)In: International Criminal Justice Review, ISSN 1057-5677, E-ISSN 1556-3855, Vol. 23, no 1, 75-94 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this article is to study the suspect nature of private campaign finance, understood as the donors’ hidden intentions and delayed exchange of reciprocities with incumbents. In particular, I explore whether electoral contributions from private corporations lead to political corruption. On the basis of a cross-national analysis, I find that, first, private financing reduces corruption because the use of this legal mechanism is enough to guarantee that the donors’ interests will be achieved. Second, donors recognize that they have gained influence over policy outcomes, although in the spirit of the electoral laws this is not intended to occur. This increases corruption because incumbents use their positions of power to bend the rules and to adjust regulations and decisions in favor of their financial supporters. This paradox suggests law neutralization.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. Vol. 23, no 1, 75-94 p.
Keyword [en]
comparative crime/justice, crime policy, courts/law, critical criminology
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-88102DOI: 10.1177/1057567713476886OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-88102DiVA: diva2:609555
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SWE 2007-209
Available from: 2013-04-10 Created: 2013-03-06 Last updated: 2017-12-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Legal bribes?: An analysis of corporate donations to electoral campaigns
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Legal bribes?: An analysis of corporate donations to electoral campaigns
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this research I analyse how the existence of regulations that allow private funding of election campaigns have created opportunities for crime. Three specific questions are addressed here: 1. Do electoral donations increase political corruption? 2. Why do companies give electoral donations? 3. How are electoral donors compensated? To address these questions, I adopted a nested analysis. This sequential, mixed method brings together the strengths of both regression analysis and case study research, while conducting a validity check—triangulation—by convergence of results via different methods and theoretical approaches. I first conducted a cross-national comparison of 78 countries; then, I conducted a survey of 302 private companies in Colombia; and finally, I documented one case that described how campaign contributions affect the political decision-making process.

The main conclusion of this research is that electoral law creates opportunities for crime, because it legalizes the entrance of interested money into politics, disqualifies donors as perpetrators, and introduces regulations with null or limited deterrent effect on the delivery of undue reciprocities. Indeed, I demonstrated that electoral financing is used as a legal bribery by private corporations. The legal character of this political instrument is perverted when undue compensation is delivered to donors. This is not a crime with a single perpetrator; rather, donors and incumbents are equally involved. However, donors are protected by electoral law, because the money delivered as corrupt incentive is classified as legal. This suggests that the law is being used as a mechanism that neutralizes donors as perpetrators. This perspective points to the manipulative use of electoral law, or creative compliance, as the term is used by McBarnet (2006).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Criminology, Stockholm University, 2013. 63 p.
Series
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 32
Keyword
legal bribes, electoral donations, electoral financing, corruption, political white-collar crime, creative compliance
National Category
Other Social Sciences
Research subject
Criminology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89005 (URN)978-91-7447-652-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2013-05-29, hörsal 5, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Sida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SWE 2007-209
Available from: 2013-05-07 Created: 2013-04-08 Last updated: 2017-10-12Bibliographically approved

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