Discussion paper

State capture occurs when powerful or wealthy interests interfere with decision-making and assume a degree of control over the democratic rule-making process itself.

The World Bank noticed that it can occur in wealthy democracies through control over resources, the threat of violence, or other forms of influence.

By its nature, state capture is usually hidden, often in plain sight. The scandals that hit the news are the tip of the iceberg. The report breaks down six modes of influence used in state capture:

  1. Financial interventions in politics
  2. Lobbying and personal influence
  3. Revolving doors and personnel exchange
  4. Institutional repurposing
  5. Research and policy-making
  6. Public influence campaigns.

The report also explores two case studies in detail and sets out four recommendations on how to confront State capture.

Editor's note

Audio of the interview with two of the report's co-authors on the ABC RN Late Night Live program, hosted by Phillip Adams, is available to access via the Related Information link.

Related Information

Undue influence: how industry is undermining our democracy https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/latenightlive/how-industry-is-und…

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