The exploration of the multifaceted phenomenon of government corruption has expanded exponentially in recent decades. The research field initially focused on interrelationships between government corruption and factors such as economic growth, democracy and various aspects of societal well-being. While important, these studies leave unanswered the questions regarding the mechanisms at work, and particularly the dynamic interactions between conditions, institutions and actors.
This session seeks to advance this latter line of enquiry and invites papers dealing with various aspects of horizontal, vertical or diagonal/societal accountability as they relate to circumscribing the scope of corruption. While some mechanisms of horizontal accountability as for example anti-corruption agencies have been found largely ineffectual in combating corruption, others, such as the design of roles and relationships between political and administrative institutions, show theoretical and empirical promise in limiting the scope of corruption. Similarly, vertical accountability via elections has proven largely ineffective as a mechanism for ending the careers of corrupt incumbents, though the failure of this mechanism remains poorly understood. Societal accountability, which regards non-state actors as primary agents of accountability, also has been shown to be highly contingent upon the contextual conditions.
In sum, the success of these mechanisms seems to be interdependent. The existence of civil society associations focused on anti-corruption may, for example, result in the removal of corrupt politicians via elections. An audit office that routinely publishes performance reports may prove instrumental in civil society efforts to hold corrupt offices to account. The session welcomes empirical papers, either case studies or comparative analyses.
Possible participants include Nicholas Charron, Victor Lapuente, Paul Heywood, Heather Marquette, Dimitri Sotiropoulos, Monika Bauhr, Donatella della Porta, Andreas Bågenholm, and Allan Sikk