Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2055
Situated at the top of state hierarchy, and as components of the state decision-making matrix, political elites hold influence both through direct and indirect channels. By determining politics, administrations and the economy, political elites hold the welfare of their societies in their hands. At the same time, their actions signal the norms and values of a society and they are likely to indirectly influence the behaviour of ordinary citizens through what Werner calls a ‘leader-follower spill over effect’ (Werner 1989: 149). In this line, it is often said that ‘the fish rots from the head down,’ while responsive and responsible leadership is important in setting in motion a virtuous societal development spiral. This implies that the ethical behaviour of political elites is of great importance for achieving quality and transparency of government and that strong political leadership is essential in anti-corruption policy design and implementation of regulatory governance reforms. This panel highlights the importance of transparent, accountable and responsible actions of political leaders for the reduction of corruption, and the building of citizen’s trust in politics.