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IU awarded NSF grant to fund political study

(WISH file photo)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) – A new three-year study led by Indiana University faculty members will examine how structures of business power affect economic and political processes and outcomes. National Science Foundation has awarded a $450,000 grant to investigate the political economy of business-government connections.

The study will be led by Sarah Bauerle Danzman, assistant professor in the Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies, and William Kindred Winecoff, associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Political Science.

“The prevailing belief, due in part to rising inequality and perceptions of widespread corruption, is that the global economy isn’t a democratizing force but a tool for the powerful to attain even more wealth and influence,” said Danzman, in the Hamilton Lugar School’s Department of International Studies. “Pro-business institutions are blamed for issues ranging from financial instability to the slow response to climate change, but what we know about the relationships between public officials and registered businesses is actually quite limited.”

IU says the researchers will collect data on links between politicians and businesses from around the world. Winecoff says they will use the data to explore important questions about the nature and consequence of business power, including “the factors that make political-business connections more likely, the economic value of these connections and how they influence governance outcomes.”

Danzman and Winecoff say they also hope to broaden the impact of their research by fostering more diversity and inclusion in the profession. They plan to use a portion of the grant to support a graduate student from a traditionally underrepresented group as their research assistant, and they have budgeted funds for their research assistant’s professional development.

IU says the study results and original data will be released publicly.