October 25, 2013
Money in Politics Handbook: A guide to Increasing Transparency in Emerging Democracies
This handbook is a primer on the topic of money in politics with special emphasis on the role of disclosure. “Money in politics” refers to the funds used for electioneering and influencing political processes. “Political finance” is an umbrella term for “party finance” or “campaign finance.” In parliamentary systems, which are largely party-driven, party finance is the term of choice. In presidential systems, which are candidate-driven, campaign finance is the term of choice.
The handbook provides an overview of campaign and party finance, examines the role that money plays in the politics of a nation, and describes how countries attempt to regulate the flow of funds into political contests. Its main premise is that disclosure of campaign and political party finance is thecornerstone upon which all other attempts to control money in politics rest. Transparency is a foundational principle for democracy, and key to the legitimacy of every nation’s elected officials as well as its electoral and political processes.
The purpose of the handbook is to orient and provide action-related ideas to democracy practitioners, civil society organizations and activists, political leaders, scholars, election authorities, and the international community concerned with the influence of money in politics. In addition to highlighting the risks of money in politics, it summarizes strategies toco ntrol the flow, showing that the need for more disclosure and enforcement lies at the heart of reform efforts. It provides a framework for understanding the money in politics landscape in a country and suggests a variety of program options.
This handbook contributes to existing literature in the emerging field of political finance and is the first publication entirely committed to the topic of political financial disclosure. It reflects the findings of a rigorous, systematic survey of disclosure laws in 118 developed and developing countries around the world and examines the global state of transparency.It also provides highlights of the U.S. effort to make political finance fair and transparent.