Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Political Financing in a Global Perspective

Level of Study


Teaching semester

Spring, irregular

Objectives and Content

Though financial resources are key to performing electoral politics their effects are neither neutral nor uniform. To get a better sense of this phenomenon, this seminar course critically examines how resources are leveraged to influence parties┬┐ abilities to compete for and win elections across several institutional settings. The focus will not solely rest on the institutional and sociological foundations of party financing schemes. We will also focus on their effects on: the candidate pool policy ideas, campaign strategy, outside spending, endorsements, and identity politics. In short, we consider what social science research teaches us about the relationship between money and politics, and how best to assess the consequences of this interaction

The readings draw primarily from perspectives in political science, economics, sociology and history. This courses thematic and geographic diversity is designed to foster critical thinking and its application. Each week students will engage with material that introduces a particular institutional setting┬┐s financing scheme alongside country cases that empirically assess the schemes' effectiveness.

Learning Outcomes

A student who has completed the course should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


  • Demonstrate a nuanced understanding of the variation in party funding and their consequences on descriptive and substantive representation.
  • The ability to assess the strengths and limitations of particular laws and institutions
  • Develop and demonstrate specialised knowledge/expertise of party financing schemes in a particular world region.
  • Become familiar with the basics of campaign organization, strategy and tactics.


  • Create a research design on investigating the effects of institutions (party finance) on outcomes (representation) across different contexts.
  • Critically evaluate emerging various party finance mechanisms in the global call for transparency and accountability.
  • Analyse and present research findings regarding funding schemes, their histories and effects orally and in writing.

General competence

  • Understand the interaction of money and politics
  • Communicate and evaluate these interactions in a detailed and sophisticated manner.

Required Previous Knowledge

Students must have completed a bachelor's degree in political science or an equivalent (subject to approval by the administration of the Department of Comparative Politics).

Recommended Previous Knowledge


Access to the Course

The course is oriented towards students who have been accepted into the department's master's program but is open to visiting students upon approval of student request.

Teaching and learning methods

12 seminars with active student participation in discussions and presentations.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

  • Full attendance at no fewer than 75% of the seminars.
  • Two-page responses about the relevant readings in no less than five of the seminars
  • Lead one class discussion in the seminars

Forms of Assessment

Final essay of maximum 5,000 words

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale; grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester.

Course Evaluation

The course is evaluated regularly


Department of Comparative Politics


Contact Information


Exam information

  • Type of assessment: Essay

    Submission deadline
    25.05.2020, 17:00
    Withdrawal deadline
    Examination system
    Digital exam