Political parties need access to funds in order to play their part in the political process. At the same time, the role of money in politics is arguably the biggest threat to democracy worldwide today. This threat is clear across all continents—from huge corporate campaign donations in the United States and drug money seeping into politics in Latin America to corruption scandals throughout Asia and Europe. Attempts to tackle these challenges through political finance laws and regulations are often undermined by a lack of political will or capacity, as well as poorly designed and enforced measures. This handbook addresses the problems of money in politics by analyzing political finance regulations around the world and providing guidance for reform. The chapters are divided by region; each assesses the current state of regulations in relation to its challenges and offers a series of recommendations to tackle the identified shortcomings. This geographical approach has the benefit of revealing regional trends and patterns. An additional chapter focuses on gender, reflecting the reality that women remain grossly underrepresented in politics around the world, while the increasing influence of money in politics perpetuates this inequality.
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