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POLS330 Special Topic: The Politics of Corruption

How political institutions and processes shape corruption, and how corruption in turn impacts on these and other features of societies.

Corruption, the exploitation of public office for private gain, is a global phenomenon and is not restricted to a specific type of society. It has serious consequences for socio-political and economic development and has been singled out as one of the main inhibitors of human progress in many societies. While corruption has many determinants and consequences, this paper will focus on the role that political institutions, political processes and state policies play in promoting/perpetuating or curbing/undermining corruption, and the reverse effect that corruption has on these political factors, as well as on prospects for human development. Case studies are drawn from both developing and developed societies, and emphasis will also fall on the politics involved in international attempts to curb corruption.

Paper title Special Topic: The Politics of Corruption
Paper code POLS330
Subject Politics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Not offered in 2018
Domestic Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for 2018 have not yet been set
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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18 200-level POLS points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator: Professor Philip Nel
Dr Bryce Edwards, Mr Luca Uberti
Teaching Arrangements
There will be two 2-hour lectures and one tutorial each week.
All readings will be available on Blackboard. Textbooks are not required for this paper.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Ethics, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
This paper aims to aid the student's understanding of corruption as a socio-political phenomenon. It focuses on the political determinants and political-economic consequences of corruption, both within societies but also internationally. It enables the student to develop a theoretically-informed and factually-based assessment of the practices, institutions, and norms associated with corruption and the combating thereof. As an advanced (300-level) paper, the emphasis is on deepening discipline-related capabilities and promoting a number of generic graduate attributes (in brackets below). Students will learn to
  1. Identify and analyse the main forms of and trends in corrupt practices worldwide and develop an appreciation for various cultural understandings/evaluations of corruption (Research; Global Perspective; Cultural Understanding; Ethics)
  2. Identify and evaluate the main theoretical perspectives that are used by analysts and decision makers to understand the political determinants and consequences of corruption (Research; Scholarship; Critical Perspective)
  3. Find and interpret data and information on aspects of the global occurrence of corruption and how it is related to political regimes and political practices (Research)
  4. Appreciate the characteristics of 'Good arguments' in this field of study and to apply these insights in developing the student's own style of argument (Scholarship; Communication; Critical Thinking)
  5. Develop the ability to draw on scholarly insights to enrich the public debate about corruption, both in New Zealand and on a global level (Communication; Critical Thinking)
In addition, this paper aims at developing the student's general ability to
  1. Distinguish between the different uses that language is put to in academic discourse (Communication)
  2. 'Work with' ideas - that is, understand and apply concepts and theoretical constructs in order to aid your understanding of an issue (Scholarship)
  3. Participate in reasoned discussions on issues of the day ('reasoned' implies an ability to define concepts clearly, to argue systematically, and to use appropriate evidence and warrants to back up claims) (Communication)
  4. Solve problems by investigating in a group context a specific research question and systematically generating and presenting reasonable and creative answers based on research (Research; Teamwork; Communication)

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Not offered in 2018

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system