Corruption in the Global South
Register for our Event
November 19th & 20th
2023 Annual Corruption in the Global South Network Conference
“Critical Approaches to Corruption and Transparency"
On November 19-20, 2023, the Corruption in the Global South Research Consortium, in collaboration with the Sociology Department at the New School for Social Research, will hold a two-day symposium in New York City dedicated to the study of corruption and anti-corruption in the era of neoliberalism and its historical antecedents. The goal of this symposium is to explore the different ways that corruption and anti-corruption have emerged from, and contributed to, the late capitalist world order.
In a quote posted to the White House website (2021), President Joe Biden states that “corruption threatens United States national security, economic equity, global anti-poverty and development efforts, and democracy itself.” Narrowly defined as “abuse of power for private gain” (TI 2022) but imbued with broader connotations of systematic social decay (Pierce 2016), corruption has emerged in the post-Cold War era as a signifier of a whole array of grievances associated with economic underdevelopment. Reflecting this growing preoccupation with corruption, the international community formed a sprawling ‘anti-corruption industry’ (Sampson 2010) consisting of numerous international conventions, national and local reform packages, and funding mechanisms for aspiring reformers. While global anti-corruptionism has helped put a spotlight on corruption, it has also served to reproduce and justify inequalities in the capitalist world-system by equating corruption with democratic deficit and by echoing colonial discourses of “backwardness” and dependency. Fighting corruption has become a moral imperative, characterized by a strong sense of urgency (Kaufmann 2009) that justifies punitiveness against transgressors, legitimizes lavish spending, and discourages critical examination of neoliberal solutions. With an array of social actors, ranging from populist politicians to grassroots movements, judges and corporations, claiming ownership of anti-corruption to advance their own agendas, this emergent industry has, in many ways, worsened the social problems it purports to ameliorate.
* This conference is free and open to the public. Registration required.
Corruption is widely condemned as an obstacle to economic development and the rule of law in the Global South, with the international community spending billions of dollars annually to address predatory economic practices and abuses of power in governments and markets worldwide. Yet, as a field of research, critical social scientific study of corruption remains fragmented in the US and Canadian universities. The Research Consortium on Corruption in the Global South is the first virtual hub for North America-based social scientist pursuing research broadly related to corruption processes outside Western capitalist democracies. With support from several universities and the American Bar Foundation, CGS provides an institutional platform for intellectual exchange, collaboration and networking. The mission of the consortium is four-fold:
To facilitate collaboration among social scientists from different disciplines and theoretical and methodological backgrounds
To increase the visibility and disseminate new social scientific research on corruption in the Global South
To host a depository for quantitative, qualitative, and archival data on relevant topics
To create opportunities for mentorship and professionalization
The University of Iowa: Corruption, the Rise of Populism, and the Future of Democracy Symposium
The University of Chicago: Sociology of Corruption Workshop
Notre Dame University: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Corruption Workshop
McGill University: Politics of Corruption Prosecutions Workshop
Northwestern University: The Islands of Integrity Workshop
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