Legal bribes?: An analysis of corporate donations to electoral campaigns
2013 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
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.
Avhandlingsserie / Kriminologiska institutionen, Stockholms universitet, ISSN 1404-1820 ; 32
legal bribes, electoral donations, electoral financing, corruption, political white-collar crime, creative compliance
Research subject Criminology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-89005ISBN: 978-91-7447-652-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-89005DiVA: diva2:615098
2013-05-29, hörsal 5, Universitetsvägen 10 B, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Friedrichs, David O., Professor
Flyghed, Janne, Professor
FunderSida - Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, SWE 2007-209
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