The Invisible and the Immeasurable: Towards Alternative Indicators of Corruption
Interdisciplinary Colloquium organised by Alena Ledeneva, fellow at the Paris IAS and Nicolas Sauger (Sciences Po)
The aim of the colloquium is to explore how to move beyond the existing paradigms of measuring corruption. Why do we need answers to these questions? One unintended consequence of the ‘informalisation’ of global economy (Sassen) is that the existing indicators of performance and change are becoming less effective. In the studies of corruption, the contemporary global corruption paradigm (GCP) with its governance indicators and multiple indices seems to have exhausted its measurement and policy potential. On the one hand, it has been dubbed as a ‘magnificent policy failure’ (Rothstein) due to its incapacity to achieve its proclaimed goal –to reduce corruption all over the world. On the other hand, the present paradigm has turned unequipped to handle the ‘globalisation’ of corruption practices, as majority of indices are tied to the countries, and to differentiate between cultural contexts, assuming that corruption would be the same everywhere. The cross-cutting issue in many disciplines is: how to factor culture dynamics into risk analysis in general, and how to measure the impact of informality in particular. The key empirical puzzle is whether it is possible to measure the immeasurable without formalising it.
The workshop will focus on the following questions
- Comparing the incomparable: We aim to move beyond the existing paradigms of measuring corruption and investigate how to create culture sensitive next generation indicators that would be compatible with existing transnational surveys.
Alena Ledeneva, Institute d’Etudes Anvancees de Paris, France and Nicolas Sauger, Sciences Po, France
- Corruption and political trust: Which questions about informal and invisible practices could/should be included in general social or political surveys?
Paul Heywood, University of Nottingham, UK, and Monika Bauhr, The Quality of Government Institute, Sweden
- Practical norms: We search for the bottom-up, user-friendly indicators for informal practices, with focus on strength rather than frequency of relationships and practical norms rather than perceptions.
Thomas Cantens, World Customs Organization, Roxana Bratu, UCL, UK and Danica Mijovic-Prelec, MIT, US
- Ambivalence of corruption: We focus on how to construct indicators that would reflect cultural differences and ambivalent attitudes towards corruption.
Richard Rose, U. of Strathclyde, UK, Elena Panfilova, Transparency International – Russia
- Norm reversal: Within the existing measurements, we aim to distinguish between indicators for the countries with systemic corruption – where corruption is a practical norm – from indicators for the countries where corruption is a deviation.
Drazen Prelec, MIT, US, Catherine Fieschi, Counterpoint: Engaging Cultural Intelligence, UK and Tina Fordham, Citygroup, UK
- Nudge policies: We explore the possibility of creating indirect anti-corruption policies that would be small-scale, yet effective in changing people’s behaviours.
Oksana Antonenko, EBRD, UK, Allan Sikk, UCL, UK and Paul Seabright, Toulouse School of Economics, France