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Unformatted text preview: World Politics 53 (July 2001), 588622 COMPETITIVE CORRUPTION Factional Conflict and Political Malfeasance in Postwar Italian Christian Democracy By MIRIAM A. GOLDEN and ERIC C. C. CHANG* T HIS article is motivated by three central theoretical puzzles re- garding systemic political corruption in democratic settings. First, political corruption may involve high-level politicians and in extreme cases may involve even an entire political class. As such, it is clearly not a problem of inadequate or ineffective monitoring by politicians of the bureaucrats they supervise, as is the case with the more commonly studied phenomenon of bureaucratic corruption. l Second, systemic po- litical corruption in a democratic context occurs despite a wealth of legal regulations intended to prevent it. The cases of persistent, high- level corruption of which we are awarerecent revelations feature Ger- many and France, as well as Italydo not occur in settings that exhibit substantially less transparency or other judicial or constitutional char- acteristics that obviously account for their unusual outcomes. Finally, Schumpeterian competition between political elites ought to prevent large-scale, persistent political corruption from taking root in demo- cratic polities in the first place, precisely because honest partisan com- petitors can always offer their services to voters and ought to be preferred over their dishonest counterparts. The very existence of wide- * Earlier versions of this paper were delivered at the annual meetings of the American Political Sci- ence Association, Atlanta, September 25, 1999, at a meeting of the MacArthur Research Network on Inequality and Economic Performance, MIT, October 13, 1999, and at the Workshop on the Po- litical Economy of Europe, Center for European and Russian Studies, UCLA, February 3, 2000. Data analyzed in this study were generously provided by Franco Cazzola and by the Gruppo Democratici di Sinistra-LUlivo of the Italian Senate. We are grateful to Gianfranco Pasquino for much useful advice and to John Agnew, Barry Ames, Kathleen Bawn, Gary Cox, Donatella della Porta, Scott Desposato, Carlo Guarnieri, Richard S. Katz, John Londregan, Carol Mershon, Ronald Rogowski, Jean-Laurent Rosenthal, Daniel Treisman, George Tsebelis, Alberto Vannucci, Carolyn Wong, Alan Zuckerman, and other members of UCLAs Tuesday Political Economy lunch group for comments on earlier ver- sions. For assistance, we thank Judit Bartha, Michael Lin, and David Yamanishi. For financial support, Golden acknowledges the National Science Foundation (SES-0074860) and the Academic Senate of the University of California at Los Angeles, as well as the hospitality of the Russell Sage Foundation, New York. The authors are solely responsible for the work reported here....
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This note was uploaded on 04/07/2009 for the course POLISCI 389 taught by Professor Allenhicken during the Winter '09 term at University of Michigan.
- Winter '09