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Corruption and Ideological Voting

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Diana Burlacu



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Cambridge University Press, 2020.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


This article examines the effect of corruption on ideological voting. Linking previous studies of political corruption with theories of ideological voting, it argues that when corruption is high, voters place less importance on ideology when voting than they otherwise would. The reason for this effect is related to voters’ reduced ability to accurately perceive parties’ positions and to their low political efficacy in these contexts. Using data from ninety-seven elections from the Comparative Study of Electoral Systems, the study shows that in countries with high levels of corruption, voters consider ideology less in their voting decisions, partially because they face difficulties identifying parties’ ideological positions and/or they do not believe parties can implement their electoral programmes. These relationships hold even after controlling for socio-economic and political confounders and for voters’ increased likelihood of abstaining when corruption is high.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Burlacu D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Political Science

Year: 2020

Volume: 50

Issue: 2

Pages: 435-456

Print publication date: 01/04/2020

Online publication date: 16/05/2018

Acceptance date: 03/10/2017

Date deposited: 25/09/2019

ISSN (print): 0007-1234

ISSN (electronic): 1469-2112

Publisher: Cambridge University Press


DOI: 10.1017/S0007123417000758


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