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ANTICORRP Report Summary

Project ID: 290529
Funded under: FP7-SSH
Country: Sweden

Periodic Report Summary 1 - ANTICORRP (Anticorruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption)

Project Context and Objectives:

Summary description of project context and objectives

ANTICORRP (Anticorruption Policies Revisited. Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption) aims at exploring the factors that promote or hinder the development of effective anticorruption policies and impartial government institutions. ANTI-CORRP examines what the causes of corruption are, how corruption can be conceptualized, measured and analyzed, what the impact of corruption on societies is and how policy re-sponses can be tailored to deal effectively with this phenomenon. The knowledge about the substantial negative impacts of corruption on a great number of factors that are important for human well-being (economic prosperity, population health, life satisfaction, gender equality, social trust, political legitimacy, etc.) is now well established. At the same time, knowledge about how corruption can be successfully fought by political means is much less developed. While this project concentrates on corruption in Europe, ANTICORRP also has a global scope. In this project we identify general global trends concerning corruption and select ‘over-performing’ and ‘under-performing’ countries in terms of their progress towards less corrupt governance regimes and conduct more detailed qualitative analyses of these cases. The project includes participants from 21 research units in 16 European countries. Research is conducted using a variety of methods including historical case-studies, large-scale surveys and ethnographical approaches. The project strives to ensure that the research findings are spread to policy makers and the general public by using data visualization tools as well as research-to-policy workshops at different levels and for different target audiences.

The main objectives of the ANTICORRP project are:

1) To propose an encompassing yet precise definition of corruption that clearly differentiates corrupt actions from other types of criminal or ethically problematic actions.
2) To create a panel dataset of indicators allowing the tracing of corruption levels over time by country and region through identifying new indicators documented in the project with es-tablished, perception-based ones.
3) To engage in historical and contemporary case study research and qualitative comparisons across cases to explain why countries reach different equilibriums with regard to government accountability and the control of corruption.
4) To explain governance regime change as documented by our time series through global models developed through quantitative comparative analysis.
5) To conduct an extensive survey on monitoring corruption and quality of governance that documents the diversity of contemporary governance landscapes, regulatory frames and anticorruption strategies in the EU and in countries neighboring the EU.
6) To document the impact and cost of corruption through a variety of case studies across the globe
7) To provide the first systematic study of the impact of EU funds on the governance of recip-ient countries.
8) To investigate the success or failure of a significant number of anticorruption ‘leaders’ in relation to their empowering contexts.
9) To investigate the success or failure of a significant number of anticorruption projects and analyze what explains variation in outcomes.
10) To disseminate the findings of the project through academic articles, edited books and policy papers.

Project Results:

By August 31 2013, six research WPs, the dissemination WP and the management WP had officially started. The remaining WPs have organized startup events and conducted prepara-tory work. Since all WPs are still running, many of the results reported should be seen as preliminary rather than final. During the first 18 months of the project, work has been commenced on all project objectives.

WP1 has produced several results in regard to theory building. It has produced a theoretical coupling between the freedom from corruption and human rights, and a “public goods” theory of corruption that allows corruption to be universally understood through time and between different cultures. Moreover, the work package has elaborated on the concepts of govern-ance regimes and control of corruption and on the intellectual origins of ethical universalism.

WP3 has submitted deliverable D3.1 “Global comparative trends analysis report”, which high-lights best and worst performers on control of corruption across eight world regions. Building on the World Bank Control of Corruption indicators, results show that Western Europe, North America and Oceania are the clear front-runners in control of corruption, and that Sub-Saharan Africa and the Former Soviet Union present the lowest average scores. A closer look at individual countries shows that significant change has taken place in about one fourth of the sample (21 countries present improvement, 27 have deteriorated). Some countries (e.g. Rwanda, Georgia and Liberia) have managed to achieve an improvement of relatively large magnitude, suggesting that considerable improvement is possible in a relatively short time. It is difficult to pin down common causes for such diverse cases. For this reason, this global trends report takes a regional approach to highlight regional positive outliers that are worth studying in order to shed more light on the historical and social changes that contribute to the achievement of good governance. So far nine (Botswana, Rwanda, Uruguay, Chile, Costa Rica, South Korea, Taiwan, Tunisia and Georgia) of sixteen background reports have been reviewed and the results from these will be synthesized and analyzed.

WP4 is conducting a survey among 100-120 citizens in nine countries on citizens’ perceptions of the functioning of public institutions, trust, experiences of corruption and informal practices, social values and cultural norms affecting everyday practices and ideas of corruption. The survey has so far been completed in Turkey, Tanzania and Mexico. Although most results are still preliminary, these case studies point to interesting findings about the relation between citizens and political institutions, as well as ideas and perceptions of the performance of public institutions and socio cultural features.

WP 5 has conducted a large regional survey on the quality of government (corruption and the quality and impartiality of public services), as well as several other indicators. The survey had 85,000 respondents in 206 regions in 24 countries. Preliminary results show that while Euro-peans are on average quite pessimistic about the current state of the economy, they feel that the quality of their public services is good, and those that have recent personal experience of the public services in question rate them, on average, even more highly. Second, we find differences within countries as well as between them in both perception and experience, and individual experiences tend to be strongly correlated with perceptions of corruption throughout Europe. With the exception of Southern Italy and Greece, most Western European countries show very little petty corruption, while the variation is wide in the new member states and those outside the EU. Corruption is most frequently experienced in the health care sector while the bribery rate among average citizens is considerably lower in law enforcement, education and any other public services. Social trust varies considerably between countries, while the variation in regard to assessment of meritocracy in the public and private sector is smaller, yet the reported variation is still noteworthy. Finally, most Europeans are quite intol-erant of corruption scandals, yet cross-country variation is considerable. The survey also included 16 QoG-based questions, used to construct the European Quality of Government Index (EQI), which is available for 206 regions. Highly significant regional variation of QoG was found within certain countries (e.g. Italy, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, France, Turkey and Bulgaria) while QoG is relatively homogenous in other countries (e.[*]g[/*]. Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Poland and Slovakia).

Potential Impact:

It is still too early to elaborate on expected final results, as most work packages are still in their early phases. Only two research related deliverables have been due during this reporting period, one of which (D.2.1 Two literature reviews on the pre-modern and modern categories of cases, from the history WP) comprised two literature reviews, aiming at investigating what has so far been done in the field and identifying the research gaps to be further investigated. Only deliverable D3.1 (Global comparative trends analysis report) can be considered to include any final results. As mentioned in section 1.2 above, large quantities of data has been collected, but the data has with a few exceptions yet to be analyzed.

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