Corruption and Political Participation: A Review

(Not) My Green City?


A number of studies have explored how corruption affects political participation, specifically whether it discourages or mobilizes it. Although research on this topic has been on the rise in recent years, it is in the vast majority of cases limited to the quantitative data gathered by Transparency International on the one hand (in particular the Corruption Perceptions Index) and to statistics concerning voter turnout on the other hand. This review article not only summarizes the results to date in this area but also takes into account different kinds of research. It includes aggregate and individual-level data, as well as experiments. Another contribution of this paper is that it explores forms of political participation not limited to voter turnout and also monitors the impact of corruption on participation in, for example, demonstrations and political meetings. The article also differentiates between perceptions of corruption, experience with corruption, and the impact of corruption scandals on political participation. The results reveal that corruption generally discourages political participation. However, there are also a number of studies indicating that, on the contrary, it can lead to political mobilization.

Klíčová slova:
corruption; demonstrations; meetings; participation; turnout; voter behaviour

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