Despite a widespread discourse in favour of ‘contextual’ explanations, corruption and anticorruption are still conceptualized at the level of individuals, in other words in a social context where corruption is exceptional and the norm of ethical universalism already enshrined. But clearly this is not the case when corruption is a policy problem. As the social context proves to be the level where causes of corruption become manifest, the behaviouralist approach to corruption as an individual choice – without being necessarily wrong – applies only to a minority of situations (where corruption is an exception), and nowhere else. If we admit the evidence that individual choice is largely dependent on the social context, we in fact agree that little individual choice exists.
Driven by an international agenda, the act of ‘rethinking’ corruption has already taken place more than once in the past two decades, contributing further to a post-truth about corruption than to anything else. This book makes a clear argument in favor of rethinking corruption across any contingency and offers a forecasting method, alongside the latest generation of analytical, fact-based tools to map, assess and predict corruption risk.
An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of Directives 2014/23, 2014/24 and 2014/25 on Indicators of Transparency and Corruption
Ever since the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, the European Union has aimed to increase transparency and decrease corruption in procurement by several directives and policies. In this study, we will assess whether the Directives 2014/23, 2014/24 and 2014/25 have led to more transparency and less corruption in public procurement. We measure transparency through the presence of key information fields in tender notices, while corruption is measured through the risk indicator of single bidding. We first regress eight indicators of transparency on single bidding in eight different binary logistic models. Here we find that a ratio indicator of transparency, in which the share of key missing information fields on the tender notice level is calculated, shows the highest effect on single bidding. Using this ratio transparency indicator, we observe no clear increase in transparency after the transposition of the directives. Likewise, our models do not provide support for a decrease in single bidding after the transposition of the directives. We find that the leeway the generic nature of the 2014 Directives provides may decrease the level of previously well-established procurement laws and norms in specific countries. We recommend increasing the monitoring and enforcement power of the Union to ensure proper compliance. We also propose to implement a Unionwide tender data repository and platform to foster research and open competition in tenders.
Recent evidence shows that Germany is a laggard on anticorruption policies in Europe. This is acknowledged by OECD, as Germany’s implementation of the anti-bribery convention is no longer convincing, by the Council of Europe, whose GRECO body has labelled Germany’s compliance as unsatisfactory and by the German media and civil society. The new data on transparency and public accountability produced by our centre shows that GRECO is right, and Germany falls below the European average at most public accountability regulations. Moreover, while the EU asks accession countries to have a pro-active policy related to corruption scandals, Germany repeatedly failed to do so. The new government should propose a comprehensive anticorruption policy plan, implement GRECO recommendations on conflict of interest for politicians in full and revive the attempt to make businesses truly responsible for corruption. The new majority in the Bundestag should also move decisively to have anti-corruption institutions truly independent and acting far more decisively and prompt against a large set of practices amounting to systematic undue profit from political connections. The elections winners should propose a comprehensive anticorruption policy plan, implement GRECO recommendations on conflict of interest for politicians in full and revive the attempt to make businesses truly responsible for corruption. The new majority in the Bundestag should also move decisively to have anti-corruption institutions truly autonomous so that investigations are prompt and independent of political considerations. But as the Green Party proposed the only comprehensive plan against corruption this might not happen.
This interdisciplinary Research Agenda contains state-of-the-art surveys of the field of corruption and points towards an agenda for future research. Chapters explore top political and grassroots corruption, buying and stealing votes, corruption in relation to gender and the media, digital anti-corruption and an examination of whistleblowing and market-based tools. The book also offers the most advanced research in the measurement of corruption.
Reviews for this publication
“Like the reform movement itself, corruption research needs a reboot. Mungiu-Pippidi and Heywood have assembled a provocative collection that questions old assumptions and takes a fresh look at unresolved issues. Several chapters examine the dynamics of corrupt processes as they fit into broader realities. Concluding chapters examine reforms and reformers themselves, developing propositions about the best way forward.”
Michael Johnston, Colgate University, US
The EU is many things: a civilization ideal to emulate, an anchor of geopolitical stabilization, a generous donor, and a history lesson on cooperation across nations. A fixer of national governance problems, however, it is not. In this book, Mungiu-Pippidi investigates the efficacy of the European Union’s promotion of good governance through its funding and conditionalities both within the EU proper and in the developing world. The evidence assembled shows that the idea of European power to transform the quality of governance is largely a myth. From Greece to Egypt and from Kosovo to Turkey, EU interventions in favour of good governance and anti-corruption policy have failed so far to trigger the domestic political dynamic needed to ensure sustainable change. Mungiu-Pippidi explores how we can better bridge the gap between the Europe of treaties and the reality of governance in Europe and beyond. This book will interest students and scholars of comparative politics, European politics, and development studies, particularly those examining governance and corruption.
Reviews for this publication
“A blistering and contrarian critique of EU anti-corruption efforts from one of the field’s leading authorities. Based on extensive quantitative data spanning both EU member states and a large number of the union’s external partners, the book’s findings have troubling implications for the future of EU good governance strategies – and deserve to be considered with the utmost seriousness.”
Richard Youngs – Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Europe
Over the past three decades, the study of corruption across several disciplines has greatly increased. Despite the progress on knowledge, anti-corruption scholars and practitioners deplore the lack of progress in the fight against corruption as measured by rankings such as the Corruption Perception Index (CPI). Mungiu-Pippidi (2015), for example, identifies a maximum of ten countries that have managed to reduce corruption significantly in the past 20 years. This leads to the question on whether there is a gap between corruption theory and practice, and if so, what can explain it? This chapter reviews the relevant literature to argue that what looks like a possible disconnect between theory and practice is the product of lack of conceptual clarity and insufficient cross-pollination between different strands of academic literature. It considers two of the main streams of literature, that in favor of less government intervention with anti-corruption policies based on incentive manipulation rather than repression and that in favor of government intervention and legal deterrence. It thus attempts to bring some clarity to the debate around the effectiveness of market and legal solutions for anti-corruption by combining the latest findings and lessons learned from the anti-corruption literature with the main theories of change originated from the economic literature. In addition to the theoretical discussion, I run a few tests of the theories I discuss to substantiate my argument.
Following the “Snowden effect” and more recent whistleblower scandals, such as the Panama Papers, Luxleaks, Cambridge Analytica or the Danish Tax Fraud, the number of whistleblowing cases and laws for the protection of whistleblowers in Europe and around the world has significantly increased as a tool to combat corruption, fraud and organizational wrongdoings. This paper provides a theory-based and empirical analysis of the theory of change behind whistleblower protection legislation as an anti-corruption policy tool. By introducing a new indicator developed in collaboration with ERCAS and based on international best practices on whistleblower laws – the Whistleblower Index (WI) – the report shows that there is only a slightly upward interaction between stronger whistleblower laws, as of the WI, and slightly higher levels of WGI’s Control of Corruption. It also did not find a statistically significant change in WGI’s Control of corruption after the introduction of a specific whistleblower protection law. Based on the empirical analysis carried out for this study, whistleblower protection legislation only seems to be effective in deterring corruption and organizational wrongdoings in a governance system based on ethical universalism and absence of captive media.