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Anti-Corruption Policy and Reforms

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Course type:
Elective course
2 year, 1, 2 module


Course Syllabus


Corruption is one of the most disturbing issues of contemporary social development. Administrative corruption questions the capability of a state to deal efficiently with the challenges it is facing. Political corruption makes the democratic process vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. Business corruption threatens competitiveness of national economy. Overall, the states having high level of corruption are usually less efficient and competitive in the international arena and have fewer opportunities for development in the strategic perspective. This course is devoted to the in-depth analysis of corruption phenomenon and anti-corruption policy both from theoretical and practical perspectives. The detailed analysis of the corruption phenomenon in its complexity and controversy is very important for proper agenda-setting and policy-formulation. Analysis of the context for anti-corruption policy-making and implementation is the next major part of the course program. The cases of successes and failures in the anti-corruption sphere provide us the necessary material for evaluation and reconsideration of the relevant instruments, processes and events in the anti-corruption field.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • To provide students with thorough understanding of the corruption phenomenon.
  • To provide students with knowledge of up-to-date experience of anti-corruption policy implementation in different spheres and of the role and the place of anti-corruption component in the course of public administration reforms, civil service reforms, etc.
  • To provide students with detailed “pros-cons” analysis of possible counter-corruption strategies, that could be used for struggling corruption in Russia and abroad in different cultural, political, social, and economic settings.
  • To give students overview of legal regulation in the sphere of fighting corruption (cases from Europe, North America, Asia, Latin America, Africa).
  • To help participating students to identify the problems of anti-corruption regulation and its practical implementation in their home countries.
  • To help students to determine the most urgent and prospective anti-corruption initiatives to be implemented in their home countries.
  • To provide the competencies necessary for effective and rational participation in development and implementation of such initiatives.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • The students will know the theories of the corruption.
  • The students will be able to do anti-corruption cases analysis.
  • The students will be able to evaluate and to treat appropriately results of corruption measurement.
  • The students will acquire the skills for planning corruption research.
  • The students will be able to to analyze the anti-corruption policy-making and implementation.
  • The students will know the international experience of fighting corruption.
  • The students will acquire the skills for analytical participation in anti-corruption policy-making and implementation.
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Introduction to the course
    Theoretical basis of the course. History of corruption. Definition of corruption. Principal-agent approach. Collective action approach. Causes and consequences of corruption. Group discussions “Understanding corruption”, “Corruption in the world: political regimes and corruption”, “History, cultural heritage and corruption”.
  • Corruption diversity: types of corruption and implications for anti-corruption policy
    Types of corruption and corrupt behavior and their nuances: petty, grand, political, electoral, systemic, administrative, business, vertical and horizontal and other types of corruption. Group discussion “Cultural context and its effects on the nature of corruption”
  • How to explain the phenomenon of corruption
    “Real-world” corruption explanations: sociology, psychology and public administration theories about corruption. Modelling corruption. Group discussion “Attitude to participants of corruption”, “Is it possible to predict corruption?”
  • Measuring corruption
    Measuring corruption and policymaking: tackling corruption diversity issue. Group discussion “Corruption: are bad numbers good and vice versa?”
  • Actors of anti-corruption policy-making
    The participants of anti-corruption reforms: government, NGOs, civil society, citizens, businesses. Group discussion “How to involve society into anti-corruption process”
  • International participation in anti-corruption policy-making and implementation
    International anti-corruption efforts: organizational environment and international legal anti-corruption regulation. Group discussion on the anti-corruption practices related to US FCPA and UK Bribery Act
  • Governmental reforms and anti-corruption policy
    Civil service reforms, ethics and anti-corruption efforts around the world. Group discussion “Instrumental, cultural, administrative, and political diversity of anti-corruption initiatives”
  • Open seminar "Anti-corruption policy: success and failure cases"
    The topics may include but are not limited to: - By the activity sphere: public procurement, public services, outsourcing, public regulation, corrupt lobbying, political corruption, judicial corruption, law enforcement, organized crime, extractive industry, forestry, construction, corruption in business, etc. - By the anti-corruption policy elements: ethical standards, public disclosure, whistleblowing implementation, conflict of interests regulation, gifts and benefits regulation, sponsorship and joint ventures regulation, post-separation employment regulation, secondary employment regulation, commercial activities regulation, political process transparency, etc.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Course participation
  • non-blocking Presentation of individual research
  • non-blocking Written report
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (2 module)
    0.4 * Course participation + 0.3 * Presentation of individual research + 0.3 * Written report


Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Brioschi, C. A. (2017). Corruption : A Short History. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1655857
  • Heimann, F. F., & Pieth, M. (2018). Confronting Corruption : Past Concerns, Present Challenges, and Future Strategies. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1617692
  • Miller, S. (2017). Institutional Corruption : A Study in Applied Philosophy. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=nlebk&AN=1602643

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Perry, P. J. (2018). Political Corruption and Political Geography. London: Routledge. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=1990105
  • Trapnell, S. E. (2015). User’s guide to measuring corruption and anti-corruption [Elektronische Ressource] / Stephanie E. Trapnell. New York/N.Y: UNDP Global Anti-corruption Initiative (GAIN). Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edswao&AN=edswao.454716257