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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the RoPFI?

The Regulation of Political Finance indicator is a large-N dataset which compares regulatory approaches to political finance. Incorporating information on party and candidate regulations in a 180-nation sample, the RoPFI provides a set of novel indicators and paints a truly global picture of political finance.

Who created the RoPFI?

The Regulation of Political Finance Indicator was developed by William C R Horncastle. William is a Postgraduate Researcher at the University of Birmingham and Lecturer at the University of Bedfordshire. Contact details and further information on William's research are available here. Alternatively, you can use the form on the Contact page to get in touch.

What does the RoPFI tell me?

The RoPFI provides an overview of the level of political finance regulation used in each nation. Through viewing the continuous variable, the user can directly compare practices across a 180-nation sample. The three classification groups tie together nations which employ a broadly similar set of controls.

What does the RoPFI not tell me?

Although the RoPFI provides a picture of de jure political finance regulation, it does not tell the user anything about political finance in a de facto sense. In short, the RoPFI compares systems of regulations 'on the books', but cannot measure whether rules are followed. In addition, the tool does not account for thresholds that are associated with regulations. For example, the RoPFI compares whether nations do or do not have spending limits for candidates, but does not include information on the amount of spending that is permitted.

How was the RoPFI made?

The RoPFI was produced via a two stage methodological approach. To develop the continuous variable, Multiple Correspondence Analysis was applied to the International IDEA political finance database as a feature extraction technique. Subsequently, Model Based Clustering was employed to identify and define the three RoPFI classifications. Use of the 'soft partitioning' approach allowed for an estimation of the certainty of each nation's cluster assignment. Detailed methodological information is available in the open access Electoral Studies article which introduced the RoPFI. Click here for further information.

Who funded the Regulation of Political Finance Indicator project?

While no direct funding was received for this project, it was possible through indirect funding from the following organizations:

  • The Sir Richard Stapley Trust

  • The Sidney Perry Foundation

  • The Kentish Foundation

  • The Gilchrist Trust

  • The S C Witting Trust

  • The Universitas 21 Network

Thanks go out to these organizations for their assistance

Why are data visualizations unavailable on mobile?

Unfortunately, the code used to develop interactive figures is not compatible with mobile devices. It is the intention to fix this in the future.

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