Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Government and International Affairs

Major Professor

Darrell Slider


Anti-Corruption Measures, Campaign Finance, Domestic Comparative Corruption, Florida Government, Florida Politics, Political Corruption


Political corruption is a cancer - a malignant phenomenon that affects every political system and every person in the world. Corruption undermines the very fabric of society and the faith of people in their government. It makes goods more expensive, stymies development in developing nations, and it makes both the United States and the world a more dangerous place. Because of its negative effects and universality, corruption should be studied. Its study leads to greater understanding, the discovery of effective approaches to prevention, and restored faith in political systems. Its study also illuminates and breaks down barriers to effective government while empowering officials who put constituents before themselves to act. In this analysis, modern literature and analyses are examined to gain better understanding of the nature and wider study of corruption, rankings of the American states are analyzed and a meta-study completed to rank the states along broader criteria, and one particular state - Florida - is examined closely as a case study in political corruption. Why Florida? Florida is the fourth largest state in the United States, has a racially and socioeconomically diverse population, and the highest number of convictions for corruption of any other state for the last decade. The result of this study is a deeper insight into political corruption as a field of study, better understanding of defining and measuring political corruption, and potential policy remedies to reduce it. The results come with implications for a wide variety of academic fields with vested interest in the study of political corruption along with nonacademic audiences seeking to rid themselves of this cancer of government.