On June 3, 2021, President Biden established the fight against corruption as a core national security interest of the United States. As he wrote in National Security Study Memorandum-1 “corruption threatens United States national security, economic equity, global anti-poverty and development efforts, and democracy itself….[B]y effectively preventing and countering corruption and demonstrating the advantages of transparent and accountable governance, we can secure a critical advantage for the United States and other democracies.” Due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, corruption both in autocratic states (oligarchs, crony capitalism) and in the Western democracies (enablers) became a central security issue, after being for the past decades mostly a development one. New instruments, like individual sanctions, are about to change the world.
However, anti-corruption has been around for at least 25 years in the international arena with no great impact. Countries are sovereign over their quality of governance and the few success stories are not ones of international assistance, but domestic agency. What makes the control of corruption so difficult to build, what is the right balance between a country’s sovereignty and international anti-corruption interventions, and can globalization survive crony capitalism? Building a clean and accountable government and society is the goal of the United Nations Convention against Corruption (UNCAC, 2003) and Sustainable Development Goal 16. Yet the legal world does not translate well into the real world when corruption is concerned. This class will bridge theory and practice to present corruption as a policy, security and development problem, not an individual infringement but a parallel world order by itself; it will explore the dynamics of corruption from a comparative perspective, as well as its causes and consequences, using the most advanced state of the art evidence developed by our research centre, in particular, www.corruptionrisk.org; and will teach students the instruments to diagnose, frame, and propose solutions to corruption policy problems.
This course is for 2nd year MIA, MPP and MDS students only.