Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Undergraduate > Module Outlines

Democracy and Development B

Module Code: PO3171

Module Name: Democracy and Development B 2018-19

  • ECTS Weighting: 5
  • Semester/Term Taught: Hilary Term
  • Contact Hours: 2 hours lecture / seminar per week; 1 tutorial per fortnight
  • Module Personnel: Lecturer - Dr. Roman-Gabriel Olar
  • Module Prerequisite: PO3170

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

  • Understand  and debate different understandings and conceptualizations of corruption
  • Assess the strengths and weakness of cross-national corruption measures
  • Discuss the difference and connection between political and bureaucratic corruption
  • Understand the mixed effects of corruption on economic development, growth and social inequality
  • Assess how institutions and electoral rules shapes incentives for corruption
  • Differentiate and compare the effectiveness of domestic and international anti-corruption tools

Module Learning Aims

By the end of this module, students will be familiar with the impact of corruption on democratic regimes.

Module Content

This course examines corruption, a global problem present in dictatorships as well as democracies, in developing and more developed societies alike. In particular, the course focuses on the impact of corruption on democratic regimes. At the extreme, corruption hampers economic development, reinforces social inequality, and undermines democratic development generally. We start by defining and conceptualizing corruption, and discuss alternative tools to measure and evaluate the extent of corruption within a given country. The course will then examine the causes and consequence of political and bureaucratic corruption. Last, but not least, the course explores existing domestic and international strategies to contain and control corruption.

Back to top

Recommended Reading List

  1. Johnston, Michael. 2005. Syndromes of Corruption: Wealth, Power and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  2. Lambsdorff, Johann Graf. 2007. The Institutional Economics of Corruption and Reform: Theory, Evidence and Policy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. Della Porta, D. (2017). Corrupt exchanges: Actors, resources, and mechanisms of political corruption.

Week 1: Introduction and what is corruption? 
Clark, William, Matt Golder, & Sona Golder. 2012. Principles of Comparative Politics. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press. Chapter 2. 
Paolo, M. (1997). Why Worry about corruption. Economic Issues6(10).
Malcolm Gladwell (2011). The order of things. The New Yorker.

Johnston. 2005. Chapter 1, pp. 5-13.
Lambsdorff. 2007. Chapter 1.
Ko, K., & Weng, C. (2011). Critical review of conceptual definitions of Chinese corruption: A formal–legal perspective. Journal of Contemporary China20(70), 359-378.

Week 2: Conceptualizing and measuring corruption
Camerer, M. 2006. “Measuring Public Integrity”. Journal of Democracy 17:152-165.
Johnston. 2005. Chapter 3.
Ko, K., & Samajdar, A. (2010). Evaluation of international corruption indexes: Should we believe them or not?. The Social Science Journal47(3), 508-540.

Recommended readings:
Williams, R. (1999). New concepts for old?. Third World Quarterly20(3), 503-513.
Bardhan, P. (2006). The economist’s approach to the problem of corruption. World Development34(2), 341-348.
Warren, M. E. (2006). Political corruption as duplicitous exclusion. PS: Political Science & Politics39(4), 803-807.
Sequeira, S. (2012). Chapter 6 Advances in Measuring Corruption in the Field. In New advances in experimental research on corruption (pp. 145-175). Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

Week 3: What we (do not) know about corruption
Treisman, Daniel. 2007. “What Have We Learned About the Causes of Corruption from Ten Years of Cross-National Empirical Research?” Annual Review of Political Science, 10, 211-244.
Svensson, Jakob. 2005. Eight Questions about Corruption. Journal of Economic Perspectives, 19 (3): 19-42.
Johnston. 2005. Chapter 2.

Lambsdorff. 2007. Chapter 2.
Glaeser, E. L., & Saks, R. E. (2006). Corruption in America. Journal of public Economics90(6-7), 1053-1072.
Dininio, P., & Orttung, R. (2005). Explaining patterns of corruption in the Russian regions. World Politics57(4), 500-529.
Samuel Huntington, 1968, Political Order in Changing Societies, pp. 1-78.

Week 4: Political corruption 
Lambsdorff. 2007. Chapter 4 and 6.
Caiden, Gerald E. 1988. "Toward a general theory of official corruption." Asian Journal of Public Administration 10.1: 3-26.

Recommended readings:
Philp, M. (1997). Defining political corruption. Political Studies45(3), 436-462.
Colazingari, S., & ROSE‐ACKERMAN, S. (1998). Corruption in a paternalistic democracy: Lessons from Italy for Latin America. Political Science Quarterly113(3), 447-470.
Della Porta, D. (2017). Corrupt exchanges: Actors, resources, and mechanisms of political corruption. Routledge. (Chapters 3 and 4).

Week 5: Electoral contests and corruption
Chang, E. C., & Golden, M. A. (2007). Electoral systems, district magnitude and corruption. British Journal of Political Science37(1), 115-137.
Johnston. 2005. Chapters 4 and 5.

Recommended readings:
Golden, M. A., & Chang, E. C. (2001). Competitive corruption: Factional conflict and political malfeasance in postwar Italian Christian Democracy. World Politics53(4), 588-622.
Persson, T., Tabellini, G., & Trebbi, F. (2003). Electoral rules and corruption. journal of the European Economic Association1(4), 958-989.
Kunicova, J., & Rose-Ackerman, S. (2005). Electoral rules and constitutional structures as constraints on corruption. British Journal of Political Science35(4), 573-606.
Gagliarducci, Stefano, Tommaso Nannicini, and Paolo Naticchioni. 2011. "Electoral Rules and Politicians' Behavior: A Micro Test." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3 (3): 144-74.
Ames, B. (1995). Electoral rules, constituency pressures, and pork barrel: bases of voting in the Brazilian Congress. The Journal of Politics57(2), 324-343.
Stokes, S. C. (2005). Perverse accountability: A formal model of machine politics with evidence from Argentina. American Political Science Review99(3), 315-325.

Week 6: Bureaucratic corruption
Lambsdorff. 2007. Chapter 3.
Choi, Jin-Wook. 2007. “Governance Structure and Administrative Corruption in Japan: An Organizational Network Approach”. Public Administration Review 67.
Van Rijckeghem, C., & Weder, B. (2001). Bureaucratic corruption and the rate of temptation: do wages in the civil service affect corruption, and by how much?. Journal of development economics65(2), 307-331.

Recommended readings:
Della Porta, D. (2017). Corrupt exchanges: Actors, resources, and mechanisms of political corruption. Routledge. (chapter 5).
Mbaku, J. M. (1996). Bureaucratic Corruption in Africa: The Futility of Cleanups. Cato J.16, 99.
Andvig, J. C., & Moene, K. O. (1990). How corruption may corrupt. Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization13(1), 63-76.
Justesen, M. K., & Bjørnskov, C. (2014). Exploiting the poor: Bureaucratic corruption and poverty in Africa. World Development58, 106-115.

Week 7: Corruption, political legitimacy, and economic development generally
Nye, Joseph S. 2002. “Corruption and Political Development: A Cost-Benefit Analysis”. In Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts, 3rd edition, ed. Arnold J. Heidenheimer and Michael Johnston (eds.) New Brunswick and London: Transaction.
Drury, A. C., Krieckhaus, J., & Lusztig, M. (2006). Corruption, democracy, and economic growth. International Political Science Review27(2), 121-136.
Méon, Pierre-Guillaume, and Laurent Weill. "Is corruption an efficient grease?." World development 38.3 (2010): 244-259.


Recommended readings:
Gupta, S., Davoodi, H., & Alonso-Terme, R. (2002). Does corruption affect income inequality and poverty?. Economics of governance3(1), 23-45.
Lambsdorff. 2007. Chapter 5.
Manzetti, L., & Blake, C. H. (1996). Market reforms and corruption in Latin America: new means for old ways. Review of international political economy3(4), 662-697.
Krueger, Ann. 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Societies." American Economic Review, 64(3): 291-303.

Week 8: Institutions and corruption
Johnston. 2005. Chapters 6 and 7.
Robinson, James, et al. 2006. “Political Foundations of the Resource Curse”. Journal of Development Economics 79: 447-468.

Recommended readings:
Johnston, M. (2013). More than necessary, less than sufficient: Democratization and the control of corruption. Social Research: An International Quarterly80(4), 1237-1258.
Sung, H. E. (2004). Democracy and political corruption: A cross-national comparison. Crime, Law and Social Change41(2), 179-193.
Mitchell Seligson (2006).The Measurement and Impact of Corruption: Victimization: Survey Evidence from Latin America, World Diplomat, 34(2), 381–404.
Fjelde, Hanne, and Håvard Hegre (2014). Political corruption and institutional stability. Studies in Comparative International Development 49.3, 267-299.
Svetlozar Andreev (2008). Corruption, Legitimacy, and the Quality of Democracy and Eastern Europe and Latin America, Review of Sociology, 14(2). 
Eric Chang and Yunhan Chu (2006). Corruption and Trust: Exceptionalism in Asian Democracies?. Journal of Politics, 68(2) 259-271.

Week 9: Anti-corruption strategies
Lambsdorff. 2007. Chapter 9.
Johnston. 2005. Chapter 8.
Jenkins, R. (2007). Civil society versus corruption. Journal of Democracy18(2), 55-69.
Meagher, P. (2005). Anti‐corruption agencies: Rhetoric Versus reality. The Journal of Policy Reform8(1), 69-103.

Recommended readings:
Olken, B. A. (2007). Monitoring corruption: evidence from a field experiment in Indonesia. Journal of political Economy115(2), 200-249.


Assessment Details

  • The grade for this class will be calculated as follows:

    1. Class participation (5%): 
    2. Corruption country/case profile (35%): Students will research the level of corruption in a chosen country. They should select a natural time period (one year, one legislative term, regime spell) for their country of interest (e.g. corruption in Indonesia during the Suharto regime). They should research about corrupt practices in the chosen country or about a major corruption case that has happened during that time period (e.g. Mani Pulite case in Italy). Students need to write a 750 words report on their chosen case and then prepare a class presentation on it. The scheduling of the presentation will be decided on the first week of class.

    Important note: The presentations should be no longer than 10 minutes while the report cannot be longer than 750 words (including title, footnotes, and references). The grade will be divided equally between the report and presentation. The grading of the report will be based on the concision, clarity and quality of the report. The grading of the presentation of the presentation will be based on the clarity of exposition and ability of the presenter to situate it in the current academic material and/or political context. Presenters are expected to be able to respond to questions from the audience. Students need to submit the report online and send the presentation via e-mail one day before.

    3. Final exam (60%): Students will sit a 90 minutes examination during which they will need to answer two essay style questions

Back to top