Controlling Corruption: The Social Contract Approach with the author Bo Rothstein, University of Gothenburg, Department of Political Science

7 Avril, 2022 - 12:30 - 14:00

Seminar of the Key Themes: "The state as producer of public policies" & "Strains on democratic representation"

Sciences Po, Salle Jean Monnet, 56 rue Jacob, 75007, Compulsory Registration

Controlling CorruptionThis book presents a radically new approach to how societies can get corruption under control. Since the late 1990s, the detrimental effects of corruption on human wellbeing have become well established in research. This has resulted in a stark increase in anti-corruption programs launched by international and national development organizations. Despite these efforts, evaluations of the effects of these anti-corruption programs have been disappointing. As it can be measured, it is difficult to find substantial effects from such anti-corruption programs. The argument in this book is that this huge policy failure can be explained by three factors. Firstly, that the corruption problem has been poorly conceptualized since what should count as the opposite to corruption—the quality of government—has been left out. Secondly, that the problem has been located in the wrong social spaces.It is neither a cultural nor a legal problem. Instead, it is for the most part located in what organization theory defines as the “standard operating procedures” in social organizations. Thirdly, that the general theory that has dominated anti-corruption efforts—the principal-agent theory—is based on serious misspecification of the basic nature of the problem. The book presents a reconceptualization of corruption and a new theory—drawing on the tradition of the social contract—to explain it and motivate policies of how to get corruption under control. Several empirical cases serve to underpin this new theory ranging from the historical organization of religious practices to specific social policies, universal education, gender equality, and auditing.


Bo Rothstein, University of Gothenburg, Department of Political Science 

Collective discussion   

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Compulsory Registration

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