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ECPR Joint Sessions 2020 Sciences Po Toulouse

What is the Opposite of Corruption?

Comparative Politics
 
Government
 
Institutions
 
Public Administration
 
Presenter
Bo Rothstein
University of Gothenburg
Authors
Bo Rothstein
University of Gothenburg

Abstract
Corruption has turned out to be difficult to define and what should be counted as the opposite to corruption remains widely disputed. If the goal is to reduce systemic corruption we need to know what it is that should be fought and how the opposite to systemic corruption should be conceptualized. To define the opposite to corruption, choices have to be made along four conceptual dimensions. These are universalism vs. relativism, uni- vs. multidimensionality, normative vs. empirical and if the definition should relate to political procedures or policy substance. The result from this conceptual analysis is that a universal, one-dimensional, normative and procedural definition should be preferred. The suggested definition is that of impartiality as the basic norm for the implementation of laws and policies. The analysis ends with a discussion of why such a norm has been hard to achieve and why it is especially problematic in post-conflict societies
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