Corruption: From Development Problem to Global Security Threat
Endorsed by the ECPR Standing Group on (Anti-)Corruption and Integrity
The academic and policy meanings of corruption have shifted considerably over recent decades, since the 1998 announcement by World Bank president James Wolfensohn that corruption is no more 'a political, but economic issue'. Twenty-five years later, corruption as a political issue has returned with a vengeance. This Section reflects on these shifting paradigms of corruption across time, and examines their consequences for politics, anticorruption, development, and security policies.
1. Corruption and democratic backsliding
Chair: Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, Hertie School
Co-Chair: Richard Youngs, University of Warwick
In the current debate on democratic backsliding, corruption has been understudied. We know little about the role corruption plays in Hungary and Poland, or how it obstructs consolidation of democracy from Albania to Peru, or even whether corruption harms democracies more than it does autocracies. This Panel invites quantitative and qualitative approaches to answering these questions.
2. Gender and Corruption: new questions for improving anti-corruption policies
Chair: Robert Gillanders, Dublin City University Business School
Co-Chair: Giovanna Rodríguez-García, National Autonomous University of Mexico
The very first studies regarding gender and corruption indicated that improving gender equality could reduce corruption. However, the empirical evidence needs actualisation. This Panel explores new questions about gendered forms of corruption, gender differences in accepting/offering bribes, and the effects of gender anti-corruption policies.
3. Benefits and risks of AI and other emerging technologies in anti-corruption
Chair: Fernanda Odilla, University of Bologna
Co-Chair: Roxana Bratu, KCL
Many countries introduced digital tools to prevent or detect potential corruption cases and yet we lack in-depth knowledge on how anti-corruption technologies increase integrity, accountability, and transparency, how to deal with their unintended consequences and to measure their impact. This Panel includes theoretical and empirical Papers discussing the application of anti-corruption emerging techs, their potentialities, and the risks of top-down and/or bottom-up initiatives.
4. Whistleblowers and their human and non-human intermediaries
Chair: Alice Fubini, University of Bologna
Co-Chair: Stephen Dawson, University of Gothenburg
This Panel reunites research on whistleblowing from all media and backgrounds: political, public and private sector. It examines both human whistleblowers and their technological enablers. The Panel focuses on the comparative cost of whistleblowing across different media (i.e political parties versus private sector); technological advances for whistleblowing and their impact; the political economy of digital whistleblowing platforms, their dynamics of diffusion and sustainability.
5. Party finance and political corruption
Chair: Sergiu Lipcean, University of Bergen
Co-Chair: Fernando Casal Bértoa, University of Nottingham
Many governments have recently introduced regulation on funding, transparency, and oversight to deter political corruption, and public funding to political parties and candidates. However, evidence is contradictory on the impact and mechanism of these reforms. This Panel investigates the relationship between political corruption and political financing reform, both ex ante, as causes leading to reforms, and ex post, as consequences of the reforms once adopted. The Panel is open to quantitative, qualitative and mixed-methods studies.
6. Strategic corruption and its implications for security and democracy
Chair: Bertram Lang, Goethe University Frankfurt
Co-Chair: Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez, Osaka University
The denunciation by US foreign policy of ‘weaponization’ of corruption by Russia and China, and the latest corruption scandal in the EU Parliament, highlight the new paradigm of ‘strategic corruption’. This Panel invites contributions that conceptualize and operationalise strategic corruption and anticorruption; explore mechanisms of how strategic corruption works; discuss its implications; and examine how the Western response affects countries like China and Russia.
7. Unpacking (anti)corruption in the Global South
Chair: Anwesha Chakraborty, University of Bologna
Co-chair: Ina Kubbe, Tel Aviv University
The emergence of global top-down anticorruption norms contrasts with the wide variation of meanings and imaginaries of corruption across different country contexts. This Panel sets out to interrogate the universality and effectiveness of such norms in contexts vastly different from those in which they were created, by focusing on the work of diverse grassroots actors, the [TEXT MISSING] perceptions and imaginary arising from Global South countries.
8. Methodological, Ethical and Security Challenges of Corruption Research
Chair: Ilona Wysmulek, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw
Co-chair: Marina Povitkina, University of Oslo
Corruption scholars and practitioners alike emphasize the need for theory-based and context-embedded empirical research. At the same time, researchers acknowledge that corruption is difficult to research empirically. As the field continues to grow, there is a need for summarising the practices, methodological choices and challenges of the (anti-)corruption research community. This Panel invites contributions on the challenges faced when conducting empirical research and their responses.
9. Corruption and anti-corruption in the EU
Chair: Sofia Wickberg, University of Amsterdam
Co-chair: Oksana Huss, University of Bologna
Corruption remains a significant problem in the EU, despite three decades of targeted intervention at multiple levels. This Panel invites theoretical and empirical contributions on the causes, effects, and mechanisms of corruption in the EU; anti-corruption approaches and legal frameworks and criminalisation at the EU level and in the member states, as well as discursive aspects of corruption and anti-corruption in the EU.
10. Ethics regulation: norms, supervision and enforcement
Chair: Luís de Sousa, University of Lisbon
Co-chair: Filippo Silano, University of Hamburg
Research systematically assessing hard and soft law mechanisms governing ethical standards in democratic institutions is still scant. Casting light on institutional settings spanning from parties and parliaments, to cabinets and executive agencies, this Panel seeks to systematically identify the current regime addressing integrity risks, and to assess its effectiveness.