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Title: Political corruption, public opinion and citizens' behaviour
Author: Cover, Oliver
ISNI:       0000 0000 5461 8528
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis involves the examination, using sophisticated statistical techniques, of whether political corruption measured at the national level, and individual level perceived corruption, can help explain a) levels and forms of political participation, and b) directions of partisanship and vote choice. It proposes that corruption creates conditions of distrust and disaffection towards political institutions and actors that has behavioural and partisan consequences. It finds that perceived corruption has limited influence: dampening turnout, although having only weak effects on extrainstitutional behaviour and on party support. Yet national level corruption is found to have highly salient contextual effects. It dampens turnout and induces higher levels of extra-institutional participation where corruption is particularly high, and particularly low, owed to citizen disillusionment in the former case, and elite responsiveness in the latter. Some nuanced theoretical explanations for the prowess of contextual effects over individual level effects, relating to the ability of contextual effects to entrench participatory forms, are offered. The same theme is analysed in regard to a British case study, and specialist data yields consistent results regarding perceived corruption. Important effects relating to perceptions of broader standards of public life determining party support in the UK are also found. The thesis also addresses two other themes. By examining the nature of perceived corruption in the UK, it finds that citizens display significant attitudinal sophistication. They are well able to differentiate corruption from other impropriety, and develop their perceptions of corruption more from consideration of institutional performance than from engrained orientations produced by processes of socialisation. Second, the thesis provides discussion of the intellectual challenge of defining and measuring corruption, shedding light on the limits, as well as the potential, of applying quantitative techniques to such a complex field of study.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available