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Comparing Political Finance Worldwide

Comparing Political Finance Worldwide

Eds. Pippa Norris and Andrea Abel van Es.

Aims and objectives

The project is in the process of developing a short new executive report on Comparative Political Finance Worldwide, released online and designed primarily for practitioners. Selected chapters will also be edited for a longer book-length volume published to broaden the readership among scholars, students, and policymakers. 

Invited contributors will present chapters designed to present ‘before’ and ‘after’ case-studies evaluating the impact of major changes to the political finance regime in one of a diverse range of countries during the third wave era. 

The ‘political finance regime’ refers to the set of public policies, legal frameworks, and procedural rules, institutions, court decisions, and social norms that regulate the role of money in politics. The political finance regime governs the funding of political parties, candidates, election campaigns, and elected representatives. The regime provides a framework within which actors can legally obtain and spend money for political purposes.

Thus chapters will focus on a major changes in each country which decisively altered the political finance regime in each nation since the early-1970s. The aim is to compare landmark reforms which are equivalent to the 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act ("McCain-Feingold") in the United States, the 1994 Law reforming Campaign Finance in Japan, or the 2000 Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act in the UK. 

The goal is to understand what factors drive major changes in the political finance regime in the selected country cases and to evaluate whether the reforms achieved their objectives.

Planned contents

1.     Introduction – Andrea Abel van Es and Pippa Norris

2.     Brazil – Bruno Speck, Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Brazil

3.     Bulgaria – Ekatarina Rashkova, University of Innsbruck, Austria

4.     India - Eswaran Sridharan and Milan Vaishnav, Center for the advanced study of India and Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

5.   Indonesia – Marcus Mietzner, Australian National University, Australia

6.     Italy – Eugenio Pizzimenti, University of Pisa, Italy

7.     Japan – Matthew Carlson, University of Vermont, USA

8.     Mexico – Javier Aparicio, CIDE, Mexico

9.     Russia – Grigorii Golosov, European University, Russia

10.     South Africa – Richard Calland, University of Cape Town, South Africa

11.  Sweden – Magnus Ohman, International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), USA

12.  UK – Justin Fisher, Brunel University, UK

13.  US – Richard Briffault, Columbia University

14.  Conclusions, lessons learned and moving forward – Pippa Norris and Andrea Abel van Es

Shared online resources

This page will present shared resources and materials for this volume. Please let us know of suggestions for other useful links to add.

Shared readings and articles

National Democracy Institute. 2005. Money in Politics

Information for Authors

The author guidelines for chapters can be found here:Chapter outline.docx

Data for authors

This section presents some potentially useful global data on political finance regulations as well as on perceptions of electoral integrity.

Perceptions of Electoral Integrity data:

An initiative within the broader Electoral Integrity Project, PEI is a new survey of expert perceptions of electoral integrity. The aim of PEI is to provide a new survey of expert perceptions of electoral integrity. PEI  aims to provide a comprehensive, impartial and independent source of information derived from experts' evaluations about whether national elections meet internationally recognized principles and standards. The second wave of the PEI data can be downloaded here. The second wave covers 73 elections in 66 countries holding elections between 1 July 2012 to 31 December 2013. 

Within the PEI data, numerous indicators focus on the integrity of political finance regulations - the sum of which serves as a PEI finance index. The index is made up of five variables: equitable access to public subsidies, equitable access to political donations, transparent financial accounts, rich people buy elections and some state resources were improperly used for campaigning. This gives an index standardized to a 100 point scale, were the higher the value of the index, the higher the levels of integrity associated with campaign finance in that election.

A few general overview graphs are found below.

1. 2012-2013 PEI finance index: PEI finance index.pdf

2. 2012-2013 overall PEI index: PEI index 2012-2013.pdf

In addition, for those case study countries for which PEI data is available, the following document gives a more detailed breakdown oft he five indicators used to compile the PEI finance index.

Country summaries: PEI categorization per case study country.pdf

International IDEA data:

The political finance database of International IDEA is at the moment the perhaps only source of cross-sectional and temporal comparative data on political finance regulations. The database considers two time periods, 2003 and 2012, and a host of questions regarding different forms of regulations for both parties and candidates.  From this database, which is available for public access - a few high level graphs have been compiled which hopefully will help to give an overview of changes in regulation over time. Please note that only those countries appear in these graphs for which data was available for both 2003 and 2012 to give a change analysis. The number of regulations under each sub-category of regulation; disclosure, bans, financial caps and public subsidies, are summed to give a very rough indication of the direction (and magnitude) of change. A positive score reflects an increase in regulations and a negative score a decrease. Of course, de jure regulations say nothing about what happens in practice.

1. Changes in disclosure regulations: Changes in Disclosure.pdf

2. Changes in regulations regarding financial caps on donations and expenditures: Changes in Financial Caps.pdf

3. Changes in regulations regarding bans on donations: Changes in Bans.pdf

4. Changes in regulations regarding public subsidies: Changes in subsidies.pdf

Authors' Workshop Information

The Authors' Workshop will be held on Sunday September 28th at the University of Sydney, Sydney Australia. The Workshop is going to be held in conjunction with the Australian Political Science Association Annual Conference, which is taking place from Sunday September 28th until Wednesday October 1st 2014.

The exact workshop location is Room 444 at the Sydney Law School at the University of Sydney.

A logistical guide to traveling to and getting around Sydney and Campus can be found here.

The complete workshop program can be found here: Complete Program .pdf


For further information, contact the program manager:

Dr Andrea Abel van Es
Department of Government and International Relations
Merewether Bld (H.04)
University of Sydney
Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Andrea Abel van Es,
Jul 23, 2014, 11:05 AM
Andrea Abel van Es,
Jul 23, 2014, 11:05 AM
Andrea Abel van Es,
Jul 23, 2014, 11:05 AM
Andrea Abel van Es,
Jul 23, 2014, 11:05 AM
Andrea Abel van Es,
Jul 23, 2014, 11:05 AM
Andrea Abel van Es,
Jul 28, 2014, 4:02 PM
Andrea Abel van Es,
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Andrea Abel van Es,
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Andrea Abel van Es,
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