Corruption: an umbrella concept

Type: · Author(s): Aiysha Varraich · Published:
Research on corruption has grown exponentially in the past decade. An unfortunate development has been the mingling of the concept of corruption with related issues raising the spectre of “collective conceptual confusion” (Sartori, 1970). This paper recasts the concept of corruption as an umbrella concept highlighting the family resemblance structure between corruption, clientelism, patronage, patrimonialism and state capture. This transposes corruption to a category that can fit many cases reasonably well, but as Wittgenstein points out “on close examination it can become clear that for most cases the fit is not perfect.” This approach expounds each of the adjacent concepts in their own right, simultaneously elaborating on the spaces they share with corruption. This not only clarifies a set of commonalities, that are analytically important (Collier and Mahon 1993), but also explains the survival of the implicit understanding of these concepts as corruption thus far. Read More

Defining and Measuring Quality of Government

Type: · Author(s): Rothstein, Bo; Teorell, Jan · Published:
How can Quality of Government (QoG) be defined and conceptualized for research. In this chapter, a procedural definition based on the notion of impartiality in the exercise of public power is put forward. It is argued that this definition has several advantages compared to other definitions of “corruption” and ” good governance”. In addition, we […] Read More

Anti-Corruption: The Indirect “Big-Bang” Approach

Type: · Author(s): Rothstein, Bo · Published:
In policies for economic development, anti-corruption measures have received increased attention. The policy advice from the international “good governance regime”, which is based on the principal-agent theory, is geared towards incremental change that will set in motion a “virtues circle”. It is argued that this theory and the following incremental policy approach is dysfunctional for […] Read More