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Mandatory Fields
Iain McMenamin
Time to travel in search of the political market
Optional Fields
The central tension in capitalist democracy comes from the clash between votes and money. This conflict is at its most direct when money is seen to influence public policy at the expense of voters. According to the theory of the political market, political contributions by business are investments in favourable policy outcomes. The question of whether there is a political market has been one of the most enduring sources of controversy in the history of capitalist democracy across the globe. Moreover, business payments to politicians have been studied intensively by one influential group of political scientists: the specialists on the United States. Unfortunately, this subject has not presented an opportunity for political science to make an important contribution to the debate on a matter of enormous public concern. These political scientists have a very plausible theory but have not been able muster much direct support for the theory. They need a new theory or new evidence. I argue that the theory is good and that it is time to look for new evidence beyond the United States.
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