New old ways of financing the party: exploring the commercial activities of modern political parties

Narelle Miragliotta, Rob Manwaring, Josh Holloway

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Abstract

The party-money nexus has long excited concerns about corruption and undue influence. However, much of the scholarship in this area has focused on the funding parties receive from external donors or the state. One area of party financing that is underexplored is that of party-controlled commercial enterprises. We examine the nature and scale of the commercial activities engaged in by the two major governing Australian parties: Labor and the Liberals. We find that while commercial activities are long-standing practices, they have diversified over time, becoming more sophisticated and professionalized. Importantly, some of these activities have become decoupled from the proper purposes of parties. The upscaling of party fundraising practices introduces new tensions for parties - both normatively and practically.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEuropean Political Science Review
Early online date3 Aug 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • political parties
  • party financing
  • party fundraising
  • associated entities
  • Australia

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