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“The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran” Daniel Heradstveit Norwegian Institute of International Affairs G. Matthew Bonham The Maxwell School.

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Presentation on theme: "“The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran” Daniel Heradstveit Norwegian Institute of International Affairs G. Matthew Bonham The Maxwell School."— Presentation transcript:

1 “The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran” Daniel Heradstveit Norwegian Institute of International Affairs G. Matthew Bonham The Maxwell School of Syracuse UniversityThe Maxwell School of Syracuse University Prepared for delivery at the international conference on “Rethinking Modernity: Globalisation, Modernization, Islam” to be held at MGIMO-University in Moscow on October 2003.

2 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran The Paralyzing Culture of Corruption Impacts the culture, prospects for economic, growth, and everyday life Political movements dedicated to revenge, eg., Socialist Algeria and Imperial Iran

3 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Objectives of the Research Investigate the cognitive dimension of corruption Describe how oppositional elites in Azerbaijan and Iran attribute the causes of corruption Discuss the implications of the results for change

4 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran The Interview Data Sample: Politicians, civil servants, academics, journalists 20 oppositional figures in Azerbaijan (1999) 32 members of the oppositional elite in Iran (2000 and 2002)

5 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Attribution Theory The distinction between dispositional and situational attributions Tendency to ascribe “causal importance to persons at the expense of circumstances” (Renshon,1993)

6 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Research Expectations Azerbaijain is a “typical” non-Western oil producing country H1: Corruption will be attributed to situational factors Iran is more developed, democratic and revolutionary H2: Corruption will be attributed to dispositional factors

7 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Table 1 Results from Azerbaijan Causal explanations of corrupt Azerbaijani behavior Causal explanations of corrupt Western oil company behavior SituationalDispositionalSituationalDispositional 41% (7)59% (10)44% (19)56% (24) n = 17n = 43 (N is the number of causal statements)

8 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran (N is the number of causal statements) Causal explanations of corrupt Iranian behavior Causal explanations of corrupt Western oil company behavior SituationalDispositionalSituationalDispositional 15% (5)85% (29)6% (2)94% (30) n = 34n = 32 Table 2 Results from Iran

9 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Summary The distinction between situational and dispositional attributions is fruitful way to understand the cognitive dimension of corruption.

10 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Summary (continued) Compared to Iran, Azerbaijani elites are more ready to blame corruption on situational factors where individuals are acquitted. Iranian elites overwhelming use dispositional explanations.

11 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Policy Implications 1. While ethical codes are helpful, counterproductive Cognitive mechanisms that blame everyone (but no one in particular) have to be altered.

12 The Psychology of Corruption in Azerbaijan and Iran Policy Implications (continued) 2. Iran can serve as a model for countries like Azerbaijan. If dishonesty is the fault of individuals, then they can be removed. 3. Educational programs that promote a model of individual responsibility may help to transform corruption in countries like Azerbaijan.


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