Politics captured by business or business captured by politics? Private interests and party financing in democracies
As part of the Rector's Lecture Series: Freedom and Democracy Dialogues - The Contest over Open Society, you are cordially invited to the Dialogue on "Politics Captured by Business or Business Captured by Politics? Private Interests and Party Financing in Democracies".
Without having sufficient financial resources to spend on media campaigns and public events, parties would be seriously limited in reaching citizens with their message. However, the source of money that flows to political candidates comes increasingly from large-scale corporate and private interests that are seeking to influence public policy. Does this practice allow concentrations of private money to exercise hidden and undue influence on candidates? Would the sponsored parties and candidates thus represent the interests of businesses or the lobby groups instead of the citizens? If so, how does the right to be heard and speak depend on the availability of financial resources in modern democracies? In general, what is the proper role of economic interest groups in democratic governments? Should political campaigns be funded by public money? Should private contributions be banned or limited?
Marcin Walecki is Chief of Democratic Governance at the OSCE's Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. Walecki has over fifteen years of democratization and governance experience and worked in more than 30 countries around the world with a focus on research and implementation of programs ranging from anti-corruption, political finance and public ethics, political party assistance and development, integrity of public administration, to election administration. He has consulted on or conducted OSCE, Council of Europe, EU, OECD, UNDEF, U.S. and British government-funded programs in dozens of countries in transition. Walecki also presents regularly at international conferences, seminars, and has authored numerous publications on democratization, political corruption, political financing, elections, political parties, and good governance. Some of his contributions include: International IDEA Handbook on Funding of Political Parties (2003), Transparency International Global Corruption Report 2004, Money and Politics (Warsaw: ISP, 2005). Walecki holds a PhD in Political Science from St. Antony's College at Oxford University and an MA in Law from the Department of Law and Administration at the University of Warsaw. He is a former Max Weber Fellow at the European University Institute in Florence, and a board member of the International Political Science Association Research Committee on Political Finance and Political Corruption.
Opening words by John Shattuck, President and Rector. The session is followed by a discussion moderated by Gabor Toka, Professor of Political Science, Department of Political Science.
Reception to follow.
Please RSVP to dialogues(at)ceu.hu until October 7, 2012.