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Bo Rothstein Second ANTICORRP General Meeting, EUI-Florence Presenting Work Package One
What is Work Package One? Social, legal, anthropological and political approaches to theory of corruption Partners: QoG, Hertie, EUI, UNIBG One deliverable – month 24. A state-of-the- art report on theories and harmonized concepts of corruption
The objectives of WP 1 To analyse the landscape of different conceptualizations of corruption and related concepts such as clientelism, patronage, particularism, state capture and patrimonialism. To analyze the conceptualization 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. To relate existing definitions of corruption and the opposite to corruption to various approaches in modern political philosophy about social justice, human rights and political equality. To describe the implications of various definitional/theoretical approaches considering their fruitfulness for empirical research and public policy. To provide the project with a harmonized taxonomy of the various definitional strategies of the above mentioned concepts that will be related to their implications for research and policy.
Why is this conceptual work important? In order to study it, we have to know what we are speaking about Terminology is this area can be very confusing and the debate is intense If we do not have a clear definition, we cannot operationalize and measure If we cannot measure, we cannot explain variation If we cannot explain variation, we cannot provide advice on how to combat corruption
Terminology Good Governance State Capacity Government effectiveness Corruption Clientelism Patrimonialism State capture Rule of law Universalism Quality of Government
The main issues in defining C and not C Broad/Encompassing or Restricted/Precise? Universal or Relative? Substance or Procedurial? Normative or Empirical? Governance or Government? Multi- or unidimensiona?
Broad definitions of Good Governance World Bank: “the traditions and institutions by which authority in a country is exercised” “(1) the process by which government are selected, monitored and replaced, (2) the capacity of the government to effectively formulate and implement sound policies, and (3) the respect of citizens and the state for the institutions that govern economic and social interactions among them” (Kaufmann, Kraay, and Mastruzzi 2004, 3)
Problems with broad definitions ”If it is everything, then maybe it is nothing?” If just ”good democracy”, then why do we need another concept? And…..the correlation between D & C is J-shaped! We would like to know if democracy increases control of corruption and if democracy is included in the definition this is not possible The line between ”bad public policies” and corruption will be blurred The line between ordinary criminality (e.g., theft) and corruption becomes unclear
Relativistic definitions Corruption = ”the abuse of public power for private gain” But was should be considered ”abuse”? What is the normative standard that is transgressed when there is ”abuse”? This definition invites relativism Without a standard the specifies ”abuse” it cannot be used for comparative research
Normative arguments for a universal definition Should we accept a relativistic understandings of concepts like democracy, human rights or gender equality? If not, why should we accept a relativistic definition of corruption? If we accept a relativistic definition, we can forget the ambitions to meausere and compare
How good is the empirical backing for relativism?
The Public Goods Approach Every soceity have had to produce some public goods Some people will be guardians of these public goods Public goods are supposed to serve the whole community in according to some universal standard When the public goods are used to favor some instead of being delivered according to a universal standard, people will react against this as favoritism The opposite to justice is not equality, but favoritism Corruption is an expression of such favoritism The norm that is abused is universalism (aka impersonal rule or impartiality)
Should policies (substance) be included? World bank: ”Sound policies” But do they really know? If so, which policies are ”sound” policies? Who should decide? Why should people accept? The Problem from Plato and Lenin - Do we want democracy to be replaced by epistocracy? Democracy is usually not defined by content but by procedures so why should the opposite to corruption be?
Normative or empirical definition? Empirical studies of political legitimacy – a surprise: "General governance (a composite of the rule of law, control of corruption and government effectiveness) clearly has a large, even overarching, importance in global citizen evaluation of the legitimacy of states.“….“it is notable that democratic rights, while certainly qualifying as one of the most important causes of legitimacy, turn out to be roughly on par with welfare gains, and both of these are far less important than good governance. This clashes with standard liberal treatments of legitimacy that give overall priority to democratic rights“ (Bruce Gilley 2006)
Political Legitimacy cont. ”It is Quality of Government and the impartial treatment on the output side of the political system, and not electoral democracy, that creates regime legitimacy” (Gjefsen 2012) Thus, when people evaluate the legitimacy of their governments, the norms that dominate process of policy implementation are very important This speaks in favor of a normative definition of corruption and that opposite to corruption
Problems with empirical definitions Fukuyama: ”Bureaucratic Autonomy” and ”State Capacity” Both can be used for very bad purposes Acemoglu & Robinson: What is required is ”inclusive institutions”, defined as system that “allow and encourage participation by the great mass of people in economic activities that make best use of their talents and skill and enable them to make the choices they wish” + rule of law. property rights, etc. Well, big news: The good society produces the good society ”’
John Rawls and the two great hopes By arranging fair procedures for collective decision-making (= liberal democracy) the probability of just outcomes will increase (Rawls) By arranging fair procedures for the implementation of these decisions (= QoG), the probability of just outcomes will increase In both cases, there can be no guarantee, we are talking about probabilities.
Government or governance? The two worlds of governance Governance mode 1 as understood by public adminstation & public policy scholars studying steering problems in western liberal democracies A non-normative and functionalist critique of hierarchial and rule-of- law administration (Weberianism). Focus on private-public partnerships, pseudo-market solutions, new public management, civil society, global governance, etc. Governance mode 1 is a meta-concept for all types of social co- ordination, weather or not the state is involved Mostly case studies: Weak on conceptual precision and operationalizations and therefore no ”metric” measures.
Governance mode two. The ”Good Governance” agenda Governance as a problem for developing and transition countries Normative (”good”) and empirical State-centered: corruption, clientelism, rule of law, property rights, meritocracy, competence, capacity, Strong focus on operationalizations and metric (large n) measurements This ”same terminology for different things” has created a lot of conceptual confusion
Multi- or unidimensional definition? If multi-dimensional – how do we weigh different items. Is a democracy with no independent massmedia but perfectly free and fair elections” a 50 % democracy? For democracy á la Robert Dahl – ”political equality” serves as the single basic norm Could there be a similar norm for what should count as the opposite to corruption? Mungiu-Pippidi: Ethical Universalism North, Wallis & Weingast: Impersonal/open access rule Rothstein & Teorell: Impartiality in the excerise of public power Differences are mainly terminological
The Advantage with the ”Basic Norm” Approach Democracies comes in many different institutional configurations Still, we call Switzerland, the United States and Denmark democracies. We shoudl expect countries with ”good government” also to come in many different institutional forms The Danish/Norwegian and the Swedish/Finnish central public adminstration is institutionalized in very different forms Conclusion: Successful Anti-Corruption (as succesful democracy) can exist with many different institutional forms The ”action” is not in the specific institutional configuration, but in the basic norm upon which the institutions operate.
Conclusions Definitions of Corruption and the Opposite to Corruption should be: Restricted Precise Universal Procedural Normative Government oriented Uni-dimensional
Political Philosophy and ANTICORRP: A final word from John Rawls: “A just system must generate its own support. This means that it be arranged so as to bring about in its members the corresponding sense of justice, an effective desire to act in accordance with its rules for reasons of justice. Thus the requirement of stability and the criterion of discouraging desires that conflict with the principles of justice put further constraints on institutions. They must be not only just but framed so as to encourage the virtue of justice in those who take part in them” (A Theory of Justice, p 241)