The World Upside Down: De-Legitimizing Political Finance Regulation

Authors: Fernando Casal B?rtoa, Fransje Molenaar, Daniela R. Piccio and Ekaterina R. Rashkova | Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 30, July. | Date of publication: 2013

Political finance regulation is often praised in terms of its ability to introduce equality among political parties, to create more transparent political parties and to lower the influence of affluent donors on the political decision-making process. Little examination exists, however, of the effectiveness of this type of regulation. This article aims to fill this gap by addressing whether and to what extent different types of public funding regulations have improved the legitimacy of political parties by improving their image in terms of corruption. Towards this end, and focusing on both European and Latin American democracies, this article investigates whether a relationship indeed exists between the perceived corruption of political parties and the regulation of political finance. It finds such a relationship does exist, although not in the direction commonly stipulated by the advocates of party finance regulation.


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