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Transparency International’s list of topics to inspire further research

Posted by Marie Terracol at Oct 13, 2014 10:50 AM |
Students are often looking for innovative research topics to explore. Transparency International offers an active roster of relevant and current anti-corruption related questions from which students can select a topic to pursue further research on.

By issue

 

Access to information

  • How does better access to information contribute to the fight against corruption?
  • Can transparency in selling of weapons to non-transparent societies be increased by using access to information in weapon-selling countries?
  • How can/do citizens use their right to information to reject corruption?
  • The impact of right to information laws

 

Anti-corruption agencies

  • Innovations and success stories of anti-corruption agencies
  • How are anti-corruption agencies perceived by the public opinion?

 

Climate change

  • How does climate change impact upon the corruption risk landscape?
  • Corruption risks and mitigation strategies in climate finance

 

Enforcement

  • Ending impunity – What is the new frontier in anti-corruption enforcement?
  • Anti-corruption specialisation: Law enforcement and courts
  • Many major corruption cases are not investigated, prosecuted or judged, often because of political factors (such as lack of political will, insufficient investment, interference). How can it be reduced or mitigated?

 

Illicit financial flows

  • The role of the international community in combating illicit financial flows
    • Beneficial ownership transparency: How about a requirement for disclosing the beneficial owner in order to contract with the public administration or be granted a license/concession to exploit natural resources?

 

Inequality

  • The impact of corruption on inequality
  • The effect of inequality on the prevalence and type of corruption

 

Land

  • How do urban land management and development intersect with patronage politics and local rent-seeking? What are the major corruption risks that attach to these dynamics?
  • How transparent and inclusive (gender, age, economic background) are farming cooperatives in Africa? Country studies could be on Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.

 

Humanitarian Aid

  • What are the accountability and transparency practices of traditional and emerging donors and how do they compare to recognized best practices? 
  • In the presence of institutional weaknesses commonly found in post-conflict environments, how do recipient countries of aid fulfil their extensive accountability and transparency commitments?

 

Measuring corruption

  • Are there new methodologies that go beyond perception surveys and measure corruption more accurately?
  • Measuring state capture: any theoretical frameworks?
  • How can we empirically measure more covert or clandestine forms of corruption such as nepotism, influence-peddling, astro-turfing?
  • What do respondents of corruption surveys have in mind when they answer that political parties are highly corrupt?

 

Organised crime

  • Corruption and drug trafficking in West Africa
  • How does corruption facilitate human trafficking into the US? Research highlights the fact that corruption fuels poverty and violence in Central America and Mexico and is therefore an incentive to leave and look for opportunities in the US. However, there is little research on the mechanisms that in practice make it possible to move thousands of people every month between borders. What is the role of the highway police, customs, migration agencies, border municipalities on the Mexico and US sides?
  • We knows how corrupt officials or businesses use shell companies to launder money or avoid/evade their taxes. But how are shell companies used to facilitate human trafficking networks and rings?

 

Police/military

  • Is there a correlation between police powers and corruption, i.e. is there any evidence that increased police powers lead to an increase in police as enforcers of bribe systems or a decrease leads to less corruption?
  • What lessons can the MENA region learn from others on post-revolution military transparency?

 

Private sector

  • What is the role of financial institutions in fighting money laundering and cross-border transfer of assets?
  • Regulating private-to-private corruption
  • Integrity issues related to lawyers and law firms
  • Corruption in the telecommunications sector
  • Dirty money – How do we restore trust in financial institutions and the global financial architecture?
  • Supply-side solutions to corruption: can market forces be shaped to fight corruption?

 

Social movements

  • Empowering and mobilising people in the fight against corruption – What lessons can we learn from the recent wave of popular movements against corrupt leaders? What role can civil society play in these contexts?
  • Social movements of hundreds of thousands of people may have no or little effect on a government where much smaller movements will result in reforms. How do social movements create effective pressure on governments for reforms?
  • Under what conditions do individual grievances with regard to corruption issues translate into action – individual and collective?
  • What types of anti-corruption coalitions are particularly effective? What are their tactics and repertoires of action… what can be learned from other social movements in comparative perspective?
  • Ending impunity through social sanction: cultural determinants of acceptable social sanctions in comparative perspective.

 

Other

  • Is focusing on “corruption as a process” truly politically non-partisan? Or are there instances where focusing on the transparency of the process sanctions the legitimacy of one (politically, morally, economically, etc.) questionable political decision?
  • What is the evidence that countries with strong “integrity systems” have actually reduced corruption?
  • Exploring the latest research on the concept of kleptocracy
  • Combatting “old boy’s networks” and clientelism in close-knit societies
  • Where does white collar crime collide with corruption?
  • How does culture affect corruption? Do social norms play a role in our corruption perception and behavior?
  • What are the reasons behind citizens rejecting corruption (in opinion polls or conversations) but embracing corrupt behaviors in their everyday life (by paying petty bribes or voting for corrupt candidates)? Why this contradiction?
  • How does corruption affect the psychology of the corrupt?
  • The issue of corruption in border regions: looking beyond smuggling/trafficking.
  • International unskilled labour market and corruption
  • What are the links between sexual violence and corruption in Africa?
  • Corruption in sports – What are the implications for society at large?
  • What is the role of corruption in undermining nation-building in post-conflict societies? What do we know about how to best sequence reforms?

 

By regions

 

Africa

  • What is the linkage between land, governance and corruption in Africa
  • What are the links between sexual violence and corruption in Africa?
  • Corruption and drug trafficking in West Africa
  • How transparent and inclusive (gender, age, economic background) are farming cooperatives in Africa? Country studies could be on Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe.

 

 Americas

  • What kinds of corruption are associated with public transportation in Latin America?
  • How does corruption facilitate human trafficking into the US? Research highlights the fact that corruption fuels poverty and violence in Central America and Mexico and is therefore an incentive to leave and look for opportunities in the US. However, there is little research on the mechanisms that in practice make it possible to move thousands of people every month between borders. What is the role of the highway police, customs, migration agencies, border municipalities on the Mexico and US sides?

 

Asia

  • Why is the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) reluctant to talk about corruption?
  • Exploration of the link between poverty and corruption in South Asia
  • Is Afghanistan ready to stand up against corruption?
  • The link between Media and Corruption in India

 

MENA

  • What are the good practices in the area of asset recovery that could be applicable for the MENA Region?
  • What lessons can the MENA region learn from others on post-revolution military transparency?

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