Abuse of state resources for re-election is a common practice in many countries. It causes damage to
democracy by creating an unlevel playing field which improves the re-election chances of incumbents.
In addition, putting public assets at the incumbent party’s disposal in its drive for re-election
negatively influences the quality of government, since the diversion of resources incurs financial costs
for the institutions involved and may reduce the quantity or quality of services provided to the public.
Misuse of public resources to win an election yields a political benefit (re-election) rather than an
individual personal benefit (e.g., enrichment from a bribe). This justifies extending the concept of
corruption beyond “abuse of entrusted power for private gain” to include political gain as well.
This issue has received little attention from academics and anti-corruption practitioners.
Archive for September 5th, 2011