WP3Corruption and governance improvement in global and continental perspectives

Led by the Hertie School of Governance, this work package conducts both quantitative and qualitative analyses of corruption in countries all over the world. In the first part, it engages in stock-taking and assessment of national level governance indicators allowing the tracing over time of the quality of governance and corruption in countries worldwide to create a large integrated time-series database allowing for comparative analysis. The goal is to map the continents in order to assess stagnation, evolution or involution in their regional context. The research also engages in trend analysis to understand global evolution in the context of globalisation and crisis and to establish recent and contemporary performers. It also develops explanatory models of good governance drawing on quantitative comparative analysis.

The second part of this work package uses the findings of the quantitative analysis to identify and explain countries which over or under-perform in terms of their progress towards better governance. These serve as cases to systematically study the transition from systemic corruption to more impartial government by process-tracing, drawing on country experts from GIGA, University College London and from within the countries themselvesSuch case studies analyse the political economy of corruption and anti-corruption reforms.

This work package uses a variety of methods to understand who the ‘losers’ of corrupt institutional arrangements are, what prevents or enables their collective action for a more equitable situation, and what circumstances trigger the change process. The countries are selected on the basis of the quantitative analysis which identifies recent ‘over-performers’ and ‘under-performers’. The five different key variables that are followed are: (change in) power distribution, allocation of state resources, degree of access to public goods, normative constraints and distinction between public and private. The research then focuses on comparison across success cases to identify specific trajectories, compare tipping points and actors’ strategies, and comparison with under-performers.