Print page

Corruption in Public Administration

An Ethnographic Approach Edited by Davide Torsello, Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Center for Integrity in Business and Government, CEU Business School, Hungary
Despite the growth in literature on political corruption, contributions from field research are still exiguous. This book provides a timely and much needed addition to current research, bridging the gap and providing an innovative approach to the study of corruption and integrity in public administration.
Extent: 272 pp
Hardback Price: $125.00 Web: $112.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78536 258 3
Availability: In Stock
$0.00

Buy the E-Book @ paperback price

Join our mailing list

  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Public Administration and Management
  • Public Policy
Despite the growth in literature on political corruption, contributions from field research are still exiguous. This book provides a timely and much needed addition to current research, bridging the gap and providing an innovative approach to the study of corruption and integrity in public administration.

The volume contributors provide insights from eight different countries, all drawing on extensive fieldwork data and following ethnographic methodologies. The topics discussed in this book include: the role of anti-corruption legislation; organizational change and integrity; party corruption; socio-cultural dimensions of corruption; gift-exchange; and clientelism. Analyzing these topics comparatively, the volume concludes that in countries where public perception of corruption is high, citizens are well aware of the generalized damage of these practices and the loss of trust they cause for public administrations. On the other hand, corruption in public administration takes place following patterns that mirror some of the fundamental social and cultural features that characterize interactions among citizens and institutions.

Scholars and students from fields including public policy, public administration, sociology and anthropology will find this book to be of use to their research and studies. It will also be of interest to policy makers internationally and public sector practitioners.
‘Torsello’s book has two core strengths: (1) it represents a holistic take on the concept of corruption including socio-cultural dimensions, which helps broaden our understanding of its devastating effects; and 2) it compliments existing quantitative studies on corruption and makes an important contribution to the understanding of what civil servants view as corrupt practices as well as practices not deemed corrupt. The book provides a range of interesting practical policy solutions (especially in the area of gift-exchange) that are worth examining in more detail through further research and experimentation. It is a valuable addition to the literature of public corruption and presents an important resource for students, practitioners and scholars of public services globally.’
– Thom Reilly, International Review of Public Administration​

‘Amidst the seemingly never-ending stream of volumes being published on corruption, it is rare to come across one that has something genuinely new to contribute to the debate about how to understand and combat it. Yet, Davide Torsello has done precisely that in assembling this important collection of chapters that explore administrative corruption from an ethnographic, rather than a technocratic, perspective. With chapters on countries as diverse as Bosnia, Hungary, Italy, Kosovo, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania and Turkey, this new collection offers fascinating insights into how the everyday reality of corruption is experienced and understood, helping to explain why abstract models based on assumptions about human motivation offer poor guides to effective anti-corruption action. With a particular focus on the meaning of public and private goods, and the nature of gift-exchange in different cultures, the volume offers practical guidelines for policy makers in regard to improving practices in public administration.’
– Paul M. Heywood, University of Nottingham, UK
Contributors: M. Acar, C. Baez Camargo, E. Denisova-Schmidt, Z.T. Lofranco, N. Luci, M.G. Pezzi, R.M. Rivera, R.F Sambaiga, D. Torsello




Contents:

Introduction: The Anthropology of Corruption
Davide Torsello

1. The Role of the Anti-Corruption Legislation and of Ethical Values in (Re)Defining Corruption: The Case of Monza, Italy
Maria Giulia Pezzi

2. Culture, Organizational Change and the Bounded Morality in the Hungarian Public Administration
Davide Torsello

3. Party Corruption in the Bosnia and Herzegovina Public Employment System: Public Discourse, Legal and Moral Legitimation
Zaira Tiziana Lofranco

4. Academic Dishonesty or Corrupt Values: The Case of Russia
Elena Denisova-Schmidt

5. The Making of Citizenship Against Corruption in Kosovo: Protest, Lies, and the Public Good
Nita Luci

6. Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Corruption in Turkish Public Administration
Muhittin Acar

7. Old Regime Habits Die Hard: Clientelism, Patronage and the Challenges to Overcoming Corruption in Post-Authoritarian Mexico
Claudia Baez Camargo and Rodrigo Megchún Rivera

8. Between Condemnation and Resignation: A Study on Attitudes Towards Corruption in the Public Health Sector in Tanzania
Claudia Baez Camargo and Richard Faustine Sambaiga

Conclusion
Davide Torsello

Index