New book: Democracy by the People

Associate Professor Timothy Kuhner of Auckland Law School has edited a book due to be published soon.

Democracy by the People: Reforming Campaign Finance in America edited by Eugene D. Mazo (Rutgers University, New Jersey) and Timothy K. Kuhner (University of Auckland) is due for release in October 2018.

Thanks to a series of recent US Supreme Court decisions, corporations can now spend unlimited sums to influence elections, Super PACs and dark money groups are flourishing, and wealthy individuals and special interests increasingly dominate American politics. Despite the overwhelming support of Americans to fix this broken system, serious efforts at reform have languished. Campaign finance is a highly intricate and complex area of the law, and the current system favours the incumbent politicians who oversee it. This illuminating book takes these hard realities as a starting point and offers realistic solutions to reform campaign finance. With contributions from more than a dozen leading scholars of election law, it should be read by anyone interested in reclaiming the promise of American democracy.

Information on how to order this book from Cambridge University Press can be found here.

Associate Professor Timothy Kuhner lectures at Auckland Law School and specialises in the topics of campaign finance and party finance, corruption, critical approaches to law and political economy, economic and political inequality, comparative constitutional law and democratic theory.

Associate Professor Timothy Kuhner

Table of Contents


Democracy by the wealthy: campaign finance reform as the issue of our time Timothy K. Kuhner and Eugene D. Mazo.

Part I. Defining the Problem:

1. The third coming of American plutocracy: what campaign finance reformers are up against Timothy K. Kuhner
2. Liberty, equality, bribery, and self-government: reframing the campaign finance debate Deborah Hellman
3. Aligning campaign finance law Nicholas Stephanopoulos

Part II. Proposed Solutions:

4. Reforming campaign finance reform: the future of public funding Richard Briffault
5. Raising all of our voices for democracy: a hybrid public funding proposal Adam Lioz
6. Reorienting disclosure debates in a post-Citizens United world Katherine Shaw
7. Beyond repair: FEC reform and deadlock deference Daniel P. Tokaji
8. The People's Pledge: campaign finance reform without legal reform Ganesh Sitaraman
9. Super PAC insurance: a private sector solution to reform campaign finance Nick Warshaw
10. Constraining and channeling corporate political power in Trump's America Kent Greenfield
11. Reforming lobbying Maggie McKinley
12. Regulating campaign finance through legislative recusal rules Eugene D. Mazo
13. Contributions and corruption: restoring aggregate limits in the States Michael D. Gilbert
14. Developing better empirical evidence for future campaign finance cases Brent Ferguson and Chisun Lee
15. Fixing the Supreme Court's mistake: the case for the twenty-eighth Amendment Ronald A. Fein

Part III. Inspiration from Abroad:

16. The repudiation of Buckley v. Valeo K. D. Ewing
17. Equal participation and campaign finance Yasmin Dawood
18. Political finance and political equality: lessons from Europe Óscar Sánchez Muñoz