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Competition by Denunciation: The Political Dynamics of Corruption Scandals in Argentina and Chile

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Corruption has become a key concern throughout the world. Most of what is known about corruption comes from instances in which misdeeds become public, generating a scandal. Why do some acts of corruption become scandals and others do not? Corruption scandals are not triggered by corruption, but rather are initially caused by dynamics of political competition within government. Insiders leak information on misdeeds in order to gain power within the coalition or party in power. A powerful opposition, contrary to common belief, acts as a constraint for insiders, making corruption scandals less likely. These arguments are evaluated using empirical evidence from Argentina and Chile (1989–2008). The findings support the notion that corruption scandals emerge as a consequence of political competition.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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