Dissertations in Criminology No. 32. 2013.

In the thesis is analyzed how the existence of regulations that allow private funding of election campaigns have created opportunities for crime. Three specific questions are addressed: 1. Do electoral donations increase political corruption? 2. Why do companies give electoral donations? 3. How are electoral donors compensated? To address these questions, a nested analysis is adopted. 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. First, a cross-national comparison of 78 countries was conducted; then 302 private companies in Colombia were surveyed; and finally, one case that describes how campaign contributions affect the political decision-making process was documented.

 

 
Legal bribes?
 
 

 

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, it is 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).

 

Här kan du läsa hela avhandlingen (The thesis in fulltext can be found here).