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Publication Detail
Rejuvenation or renomination? Corruption and candidate turnover in Central and Eastern Europe
  • Publication Type:
    Conference presentation
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Sikk A, Koeker P
  • Date:
  • Status:
  • Name of Conference:
    American Political Science Association Annual Meeting
  • Conference place:
    Philadelphia, PA
  • Conference start date:
  • Conference finish date:
  • Keywords:
    Elections, Voting, Candidate, Political Parties, Europe (Central and Eastern), Governance
Recent studies have analysed the electoral impact of political corruption and effectiveness of elections in holding implicated politicians to account. However, high levels of corruption or publicised cases of political malfeasance also influence parties’ strategies before elections. While some studies argue that political scandals decrease candidate renomination rates and electoral fortunes of incumbents, others suggest that parties stick to established candidates when corruption increases. We put these contrasting arguments to the test by studying candidate turnover on party lists in nine Central and Eastern European countries. Based on related literature on electoral effects of corruption, we formulate two competing hypotheses on the impact of corruption (perception) on candidate turnover: 1) rejuvenation, under which parties renew their candidate lists in response to corruption, and 2) renomination, under which corruption leads to renomination of old candidates and stagnation of the candidate pool. Our analysis is based on a new data set covering nearly 200,000 candidates in most elections in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990. We find more support for the rejuvenation hypothesis – deteriorating corruption situation leads to increased candidate turnover, but only among governing parties. Additionally, we find that turnover is lower among larger parties, parties with increasing electoral support and under economic growth.
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