Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2055
More than 20 years after James D. Wolfensohn’s “cancer of corruption” speech, support for good governance and the fight against corruption are a firm part of the agenda of many actors in international development. Following Wolfensohn’s call for action, the World Bank made it part of its programming and other development actors followed suit. The OECD Anti-Bribery convention represented the first global effort to establish anti-corruption norms, followed a few years later by the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC). Anti-Corruption is part of the accession process to the European Union, the Council of Europe’s Group of States against Corruption (GRECO) is providing member states with detailed recommendations on how to improve control of corruption, and the EU is promoting good governance as part of its external relations strategy. In short, anti-corruption is a priority item on the international agenda and international organisations play a crucial part in the international anti-corruption regime.
The prominence of anti-corruption and good governance support in the context of international development is unlikely to change. Only recently reducing corruption and bribery were recognised as part of Sustainable Development Goal 16. Yet, the effect of international assistance in the fight against corruption has not been well established. The question remains if and how an external actor can influence the transition of a society from corruption as a governance norm – where public resource distribution is systematically biased in favour of authority holders and those connected with them – to corruption as an exception, therefore a state that is largely autonomous vis-à-vis private interest and an allocation of public resources based on ethical universalism (where everyone is treated equally and fairly). Tactics range from conditionality and financing, to the implementation of specific anti-corruption programmes. Yet, the effectiveness of these programmes remains under-researched.
This panel asks if aid and support by international actors have succeeded in changing governance for the better in recipient countries. It thus aims to investigate a set of actors vital to the anti-corruption eco-system. The panel invites contributions which look at:
• The role of specific organisations in supporting anti-corruption and good governance;
• Theoretical underpinnings of anti-corruption strategies and underlying theories of change;
• New approaches to assess the effectiveness of anti-corruption programmes.
The panel aims to bring a variety of perspectives together, to offer a comprehensive discussion of the role of external actors in the anti-corruption field.