P23
Thinking and working politically about corruption and anti-corruption

Convenors:
Caryn Peiffer (University of Birmingham)
Chair:
Paul Heywood (University of Nottingham)
Location:
Room 10 (Examination Schools)
Start time:
14 September, 2016 at 9:00
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel builds on recent advanced theoretical work on corruption and its control, combining principal-agent, collective action, and corruption-as-problem-solving analysis, to consider how thinking and working more "politically" may help better address corruption.

Long abstract:

This panel builds on recent advanced theoretical work on corruption and its control, combining principal-agent, collective action, and corruption-as-problem-solving analysis, to consider how thinking and working more "politically" may help better address corruption. In the light of accumulating evidence for the underperformance of anti-corruption interventions, recent research has revisited the theoretical underpinnings of these interventions to gain new insights, arguing for a move away from principal-agent based interventions to ones that emphasise collective action. Though not without its own limits, a collective action perspective helps to focus attention on the inherently political nature of corruption, and the insight that corruption, while undoubtedly a social bad, can nonetheless provide practical solutions to real-life problems that individuals face, offering functionality in social, political and economic transactions where no better mechanisms may exist. The political character of corruption, and the need to think and work politically to address it, has implications for the generation of operational research evidence. This panel seeks to push both analytical and empirical boundaries and to contribute to current debates about thinking and working politically and adaptive programming applied to anti-corruption work.