Politics for Profit

Politics for Profit : Business, Elections, and Policymaking in Russia

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Businesspeople run for and win elected office around the world, with roughly one-third of members of parliament and numerous heads of states coming directly from the private sector. Yet we know little about why these politicians choose to leave the private sector and what they actually do while in government. In Politics for Profit, David Szakonyi brings to bear sweeping quantitative and qualitative evidence from Putin-era Russia to shed light on why businesspeople contest elections and what the consequences are for their firms and for society when they win. The book develops an original theory of businessperson candidacy as a type of corporate political activity undertaken in response to both economic competition and weak political parties. Szakonyi's evidence then shows that businesspeople help their firms reap huge gains in revenue and profitability while prioritizing investments in public infrastructure over human capital. The book finally evaluates policies for combatting political corruption.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 350 pages
  • 152 x 227 x 17mm | 550g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Worked examples or Exercises; 13 Line drawings, black and white
  • 1108798748
  • 9781108798747
  • 1,530,610

Table of contents

Introduction; 1. A Theory of Businessperson Candidacy; 2. Identifying Businesspeople Who Run for Office; 3. Economic Competition, Weak Parties, and Businessperson Candidacy; 4. Choosing Ballots, Parties and Delegates; 5. Firm-Level Returns to Businessperson Candidacy; 6. Businesspeople as Policymakers; 7. Conclusion and Policy Recommendations.
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About David Szakonyi

David Szakonyi is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the George Washington University and Research Fellow at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, Russia. His research focuses on political economy, autocracy, and corruption. His dissertation received the APSA Gabriel A. Almond Award for the Best Dissertation in Comparative Politics and the Robert C. Tucker/Stephen F. Cohen Dissertation Prize.
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