Exposing politicians' peccadilloes in comparative context: explaining the frequency of political sex scandals in eight democracies using fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis

2014-06-23T12:19:32Z (GMT) by John Downey James Stanyer
Political sex scandals are largely absent in some democracies but proliferate in others. However, there have so far been few if any comprehensive attempts to document the actual number of sex scandals that have occurred and to explain their presence (and, indeed, absence), and the one study that has (Barker's 1994 study) ended in the early 1990s and had numerous problems in relation to defining and documenting such scandals. Based on extensive research, this article documents the number of sex scandals in eight advanced industrial democracies and tries to explain their occurrence using Charles Ragin's fuzzy set qualitative comparative analysis. The article has three goals: to determine the number of sex scandals in different democracies, explain why this might be, and demonstrate the utility of fuzzy set qualitative case analysis for small- and medium-N comparative research.