Money in American Politics

An Encyclopedia

by David Schultz, Editor


Did the 2010 landmark case Citizens United v. FEC that ruled money is in fact a form of constitutionally protected speech for organizations effectively put a hefty price tag on political "free speech"?

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Cover image for Money in American Politics

June 2018


Pages 368
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/U.S. Public Policy and Administration
  Current Events and Issues/Politics and Government

How much does money really matter in American politics? A first-of-its-kind reference book, this encyclopedia provides the most up-to-date research and analysis regarding how money affects American campaigns, elections, politics, and public policy.

Some Americans have come to the conclusion that U.S. politics is dominated by money, that politicians are frequently if not routinely "bought and paid for," and that the only entities who wield political power are America's monied "elite" or powerful special interests like "big labor" or "Wall Street." But other American citizens believe that proposals to limit the influence of money in politics run counter to the free speech principles enshrined in the Constitution. This book will explores this compelling and controversial issue, examining where money in American politics comes from, where it goes, and the impact of all of those millions of dollars on American society.

The entries objectively cover a breadth of major issues, organizations, individuals, court cases, and controversies surrounding the role of money in American politics, especially into the most recent events of the 21st century. Commentary by leading experts and scholars on American politics assess different aspects of how money is used for political purposes. The book explains the current state of knowledge about money in politics, including whether contributions and expenditures should be regulated; if so, how; and whether it even matters in terms of impact. While intended and written primarily for students at the high school and undergraduate levels, Money in American Politics: An Encyclopedia will also be of interest to general readers and experts looking to better understand how money affects campaigns, elections, and the making of law and policy in the United States.


  • Provide readers with a comprehensive understanding of money's key role in contemporary American campaigns, elections, law, and policymaking
  • Reviews current research that examines money's impact on politics
  • Explains the laws regarding money in U.S. politics and assesses the viability of various reforms and proposed regulations
Author Info

David Schultz is professor of political science at Hamline University, where he teaches American politics, and professor of law specializing in election law at the University of Minnesota Law School. His published work includes 30 books and more than 100 articles on various aspects of American politics, election law, and the media and politics. A three-time Fulbright scholar who has taught extensively in Europe and was the winner of the Leslie A. Whittington award for excellence in public affairs teaching, he is regularly interviewed and quoted in the local, national, and international media on these subjects, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Economist, and National Public Radio.



"Compiled from an impressive variety of scholars and researchers, this work is recommended for any researcher seeking essential information about money in American politics."ARBA

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