Corruption, Informality and Scandals

Module code: PL3146

This module examines different aspects of corruption – defined as ‘the abuse of power for the purpose of illicit gain’, informality - defined as ‘ways of getting things done,’ ie. invisible, yet powerful informal practices, and how events are scandalized, mainly through (new) social media. The objective of this module is to shed light on corruption, its measurement, causes and effects by developing analytical and theoretical tools that will allow us to analyse it across both time and space. We will begin by analysing exactly what we understand by ‘corrupt’ behaviour and how this appears to differ across national boundaries and consider questions such as:

  • Do humans appear to be naturally corrupt?
  • Is corrupt behaviour absolute and universal or does it depend on location and context?
  • What is informality?
  • Can corruption ever be a good thing?

The analysis provides a foundation for examining what reforms might contribute to lessening instances of political corruption in the western world. 

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