Professor Toplak and Daniel Siter spoke at a global political finance conference

Between July 19 and July 21, professor Jurij Toplak and researcher Daniel Siter participated in the International Political Science Association (IPSA) conference at the Metropolitan University in Prague. About thirty political finance and corruption scholars discussed the role of money in politics.

Daniel Siter, a doctoral candidate at the ISH, has shown an interdisciplinary approach between the academic field of law and historiography. He presented his paper Lessons from History: What Led Rich Donors to Support Hitler's Rise to Power.

In his paper, Siter analyzed the key sources of financing for Hitler's National Socialist German Workers' Party before 1933. He pointed out the main reasons and motives behind the people who decided to financially and materially support Hitler's rise to power in the key years when the world was shaken and struck down by the largest economic crises.

Siter explained that »without some strong supporters, the Party, in its crucial initial stages of development and overcoming crises, would not have been able to cover the costs of the promotional trips made by the leadership by plane, car, and train to the major voting districts where the Party held its political rallies and propaganda speeches aimed at general mobilization and voter recruitment.«

Oxford-based researcher and the IPSA research group president Dr. Michael Pinto-Duschinsky suggested that researchers may wish to examine how billionaires influence politics. Pinto-Duschinsky, Toplak, and Oxford University scholar Dr. Marcin Walecki discussed the nexus of media, money and politics.

Dr. Michael Pinto-Duschinsky

Sergiu Lipcean of the City University Dublin presented a paper on the relationship between the direct state funding of political parties and corruption. Lipcean investigates whether more generous public funding deters party engagement in illicit funding and corrupt bargains. Using data on public funding across post-communist regimes and firm-level data on the negative impact of informal payments to political parties and legislators on business performance, he found that, on average, a higher level of subsidies is associated with lower corruption.

The Metropolitan University Prague (MUP) rector Michal Klima hosted the event. Klima and Toplak expressed intent to build cooperation between Alma Mater Europaea and the MUP.

Jonathan Mendilow, the IPSA research group chair and professor at Rider University, presided over the meeting. Participants will meet again to present their research at the IPSA World Congress in Buenos Aires in July 2023.