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Corruption, Development, and Policy-making (University of Texas, Austin)

This course seeks to provide a foundation in the theoretical arguments about corruption and to link these arguments to the rich empirical and policy-relevant research conducted on corruption, particularly in developing countries, in the last few decades.

The goal of this course, offered at the University of Texas, Austin, is to provide a foundation in the theoretical arguments about corruption and to link these arguments to the rich empirical and policy-relevant research conducted on corruption, particularly in developing countries, in the last few decades. Participants will critically examine the existing literature so as to develop strategies for policy interventions that offer a more informed and targeted response to persistent and evolving forms of corruption. Key questions of the course include:

 1) What is corruption?

a. How is corruption defined, what are the major types of corruption discussed in the literature and policy sphere, and what are the differing normative perspectives on corruption?

b. How is corruption understood in historical and developmental perspectives?

2) How do we measure and evaluate the prevalence of corruption?

a. What are the predominant techniques and their weaknesses?

b. How can we improve upon these techniques?

3) What are the causes and consequences of corruption?

a. How can we understand the role of corruption in political environments and in influencing policy outcomes — both in terms of policy design and implementation?

4) What are the opportunities and options for reform?

Jennifer Bussell is the Gruber Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science and the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research seeks to understand the foundations of democratic politics in economically developing states. In particular, Ms. Bussell’s research focuses on the effects of diverse formal and informal institutional constraints—such as federalism, coalition politics, and corruption—on the behavior of politicians in electorally competitive environments. More information on Professor Bussell, including her CV, course syllabi, and further information can be found on her website, here.

A selected bibliography can be found below. The full course syllabus and entire bibliography can be found here.

- Scott, James C. 1969. “The Analysis of Corruption in Developing Nations,” Comparative

Studies in Society and History, 11(3): 315

- Williams, Robert. 1999. “New concepts for old?” Third World Quarterly, 20 (3): 503-513.

- Heidenheimer, Arnold J. and Michael Johnston. 2002. “Introduction to Part I,” in Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston, Eds. Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts, New Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.

- Philp, Mark. 2002. “Conceptualizing Political Corruption,” in Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston, Eds. Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts, New

Brunswick and London: Transaction Publishers.

- Bardhan, Pranab. 2006. “The Economist’s Approach to the Problem of Corruption,” World Development, 34(2): 341-348


14 Nov 2013



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