WP1Social, legal, anthropological and political approaches to theory of corruption

This work package, led by the Quality of Government institute, reviews the different conceptualisations of corruption and related concepts such as clientelism, patronage, particularism, state capture, and patrimonialism and engages in concept harmonisation to provide a uniform theoretical framework for the empirical part of the project. It also analyses the conceptualisation of what is generally understood as the opposite to corruption such as good governance, universalism, impartiality, impersonal rule, rule of law and quality of government. It relates existing definitions to various approaches in modern political philosophy about social justice, human rights, and political equality.

The work undertaken in this package also seeks to clarify theoretical contributions by categorising them by their different levels of analysis. The debate between classic principal-agent theories and collective action theories needs, for instance, to distinguish the individual level from the collective, group level. Variables featuring in cross-sectional models explaining contemporary corruption may play a different role in developmental theories of corruption. This work package also tackles the challenge of clearly stratifying existing knowledge by level of analysis.