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Crowd-sourcing corruption: some challenges, some possible futures

Dieter Zinnbauer provides insight into social media based crowd-sourcing initiatives and how they are used in anti-corruption work. By analysing current initiatives and literature on corruption and social mobilisation he gives an outlook on how such mechanisms could be improved in the future.

Social media based crowd-sourcing initiatives for anti-corruption have received a considerable amount of media attention and have spurred hopes that there might be an end to impunity with regards to bribery. Dieter Zinnbauer tries to bring together experiences of many of such initiatives and wants to analyse it in light of literature and research on corruption and on social mobilisation. To this end he firsts introduces the concept of crowd-sourcing for good governance, highlighting its aim to give citizens easy access mechanisms used to report corruption. Zinnbauer then goes on to presenting insights from social science literature on corruption and social mobilisation and connects them to different empirical accounts. By doing so, the author sheds a better light on how crowd-sourcing can work in this context. He finally suggests several lessons learned from existing initiatives and how such initiatives could be improved.

Zinnbauer’s article makes an important contribution to this otherwise under-researched field of anti-corruption research. While focussing on the most important social media based crowd-sourcing initiatives, he draws important lessons on how they can be improved and why they do and do not function. The author’s views highlight the hopes which are connected to such initiatives. He, however, also stresses the lack of success of many projects. The article thus provides vital insight to researchers, policy makers and anti-corruption activists alike. As a conference paper, the article is still in development. Yet, it shows a clear pathway for further research.   

Paper reference

Zinnbauer, D. (2014), ‘Crowd-sourcing corruption: some challenges, some possible futures’, Paper presented at the Internet, Politics, Policy 2014: Crowdsourcing for Politics and Policy Conference, Oxford, September 2014.

Author : Dieter Zinnbauer

23 Apr 2015

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Institution(s): Hertie School of Governance. Research Field: social media and corruption Read More...

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