Comparative Political Economy Democratization, Distributive Politics, Corruption, Post-socialist Politics, Formal & Empirical Methods International Political Economy International Organizations and Immigration Policy
“Purchasing Power: Distributive Politics and Corruption in New Democracies”
My book manuscript examines diverging patterns of democratic governance and electoral accountability across Europe's post-socialist states. The analysis examines the link between distributive policies, political corruption, electoral accountability, and the political economy of fiscal lending by international organizations. I develop and systematically examine a novel theory of “Corruption Compensation,” which assesses the interaction of these factors, by analyzing the ways, extent, and conditions under which incumbent political parties (mis)allocate domestic fiscal resources and development funds granted by international organizations to strategically form distributive policies that compromise electoral accountability, reshape voter-party alignments and bolster their political power at the cost of economic development and public trust in democratic institutions. Ultimately, I examine how the strategic interplay of these factors induces support for corrupt and populist incumbents in ways that impede economic growth, hinder democratic developments, and provoke authoritarian backsliding in developing and transitioning states.
Why do international organizations (IOs) favor some countries over others? Previous research has primarily focused on the strategic and special interests of donor states to explain why some countries receive better deals from international organizations. In this project, we highlight migration pressure from the developing world as an important factor that enters into the decision-making calculus of major IO shareholders. Focusing on the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the European Union, we show that countries that pose substantial migration pressure to major donor states of these organizations receive preferential treatment, including larger financial packages and less stringent loan conditions. In addition, we compare and contrast the organizations’ strategies in governing international migration. Using in-depth case studies and novel datasets on loans, conditionality, and fiscal transfers, we demonstrate the important role of international migration in shaping some of the most critical decisions made by the world’s most powerful international organizations.
PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
Shehaj, Albana, Adrian J. Shin, and Ronald F. Inglehart. Forthcoming. "Immigration and Right-Wing Populism: An Origin Story.'' Party Politics, Online First. [Replication].
ARTICLES UNDER REVIEW
1. Backsliding in a Landslide: How EU's Fiscal Distributions Empower Corrupt Governments
2. Prejudice and Price: Corruption and Distributive Politics
3. IMF: International Migration Fund (with Merih Angin and Adrian J. Shin)
4. Inside Job: Migration and Distributive Politics in the European Union (with Merih Angin and Adrian J. Shin)
5. Into the Woods: Migration and the Bretton Woods Institutions (with Merih Angin and Adrian J. Shin)