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.
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