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Shared Bibliography

This page carries suggestions of readings from members of the network. To contribute to this please email

Renske Doorenspleet

Peter Kirwan

Mark Harrison

Mark Knights

Renske Doorenspleet (Politics) - Corruption and democracy


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  • Andersson, S. and P.M. Heywood (2009). The Politics of Perception: Use and Abuse of Transparency International's Approach to Measuring Corruption. Political Studies, 57(4), 746-67:‘The annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), published by Transparency International (TI), has had a pivotal role in focusing attention on corruption. Despite recent critiques of the CPI, it remains highly influential on research into the causes of corruption and is also extensively used to galvanise support for measures to fight corruption. In this article we explore the CPI in more depth in order to highlight how the index has been used for political ends which may not always turn out to be supportive of anti-corruption efforts.’
  • Drury, AC, J Krieckhaus and M. Lusztig (2006). Corruption, democracy, and economic growth. In International Political Science Review, 27(2):121–136: ‘Scholars have long suspected that political processes such as democracy and corruption are important factors in determining economic growth. Studies show, however, that democracy has only indirect effects on growth, while corruption is generally accepted by scholars as having a direct and negative impact on economic performance. Using time-series cross-section data for more than 100 countries from 1982–97, we show that corruption has no significant effect on economic growth in democracies, while non-democracies suffer significant economic harm from corruption.’
  • Heidenheimer, Arnold and Michael Johnston (Editors) (2001). Political Corruption: Concepts and Contexts, Transaction Publishers: Corruption is once again high on the international policy agenda as a result of globalization, the spread of democracy, and major scandals and reform initiatives. But the concept itself has been a focus for social scientists for many years, and new findings and data take on richer meanings when viewed in the context of long-term developments and enduring conceptual debates. This compendium with nearly 50 articles offers concepts, cases, and fresh evidence for comparative analysis.
  • Heywood, P., (1997). Political Corruption: Problems and Perspectives. In Political Studies, 45(3): 417-435. Special issue with 12 articles on political corruption
  • Gerring, J. and S. T. Thacker (2004). Political institutions and corruption: The role of unitarism and parliamentarism. In British Journal of Political Science 34: 295-330. ‘A raft of new research on the causes and effects of political corruption has emerged in recent years, in tandem with a separate, growing focus on the effects of political institutions on important outcomes such as economic growth, social equality and political stability. Yet we know little about the possible role of different political institutional arrangements on political corruption. This article examines this impact cross-nationally. We find that unitary and parliamentary forms of government help reduce levels of corruption.’
  • Melgar, N. and M. Rossi and Smith (2010). The perception of corruption. In International Journal of Public Opinion, 22 (1): 120-131. ‘Corruption and corruption perception can be considered as cultural phenomena because they depend on how a society understands the rules and what constitutes a deviation. Indeed, it does not depend only on societies but also on personal values and moral vies. While a person would never pay a bribe someone else may pay it due to consider this action as justifiable.’
  • Montinola GR and R. W. Jackman (2002), Sources of Corruption: A Cross-Country Study. In British Journal of Political Science 32: 147-170 ‘Why is government corruption more pervasive in some societies than in others? Corruption is typically lower in dictatorships than in countries that have partially democratized. But once past a threshold, democratic practices inhibit corruption.’
  • Rose-Ackerman, Susan (1999). Corruption and government: causes, consequences, and reform, Cambridge : Cambridge University Press. See also: Rose-Ackerman, Susan (1999). Political Corruption and Democracy. In Conn. Journal International Law. See also Rose-Ackerman, S. (1978). Corruption: A Study in Political Economy. New York : Academic Press.‘Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon. Developing countries and those making a transition from socialism are particularly at risk. This book suggests how high levels of corruption limit investment and growth and lead to ineffective government. Corruption creates economic inefficiencies and inequities, but reforms are possible to reduce the material benefits from payoffs. Corruption is not just an economic problem, however; it is also intertwined with politics. Reform may require changes in both constitutional structures and the underlying relationship of the market and the state. Effective reform cannot occur unless both the international community and domestic political leaders support change.’
  • Rotberg, Robert I. (2009). Corruption, global security, and world order. Brookings Institution Press. This edited book reveals corruption to be a crucial threat for global security and world order, and proposes remedies such as positive leadership, enhanced transparency, tougher punishments, and enforceable sanctions.
  • Bo Rothstein, The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in International Perspective (2011). Rothstein provides a theoretical foundation for empirical analysis on the connection between the quality of government and important economic, political, and social outcomes. Focusing on the effects of government policies, he argues that unpredictable actions constitute a severe impediment to economic growth and development—and that a basic characteristic of quality government is impartiality in the exercise of power.
  • Tavits, Margit (2008). Representation, Corruption and Subjective Well-Being’. In Comparative Political Studies 41: 1607-1630. ‘This study examines the effect of corruption and representation on people’s subjective well-being. Using cross-national data from 68 countries and survey data from 16 European democracies, the analysis demonstrates that people report higher levels of subjective well-being when (a) their governments perform well (i.e., are clean rather than corrupt) and (b) the party of their choice is in power. The effect of corruption overshadows that of macro­economic variables and conditions the effect of representation—having one’s party of choice in power increases well-being when governments are clean but not when they are corrupt. These findings provide strong and systematic evidence that governments can have a significant impact on people’s well-being.’
  •  Treisman, D. (2007). What Have We Learned About the Causes of Corruption from Ten Years of Cross-National Empirical Research? In Annual Review of Political Science, 10: 211-244. This article reviews recent efforts by political scientists and economists to explain cross-national variation in corruption using subjective ratings, and examines the robustness of reported findings.
  • Warren, Mark E (2004). What does corruption mean in a democracy? In American Journal of Political Science, 48 (2): 328–343. ‘Despite a growing interest in corruption, the topic has been absent from democratic theory. The reason is not a lack of normative issues, but rather missing links between the concepts of corruption and democracy. With few exceptions, political corruption has been conceived as departures by public officials from public rules, norms, and laws for the sake of private gain. Such a conception works well within bureaucratic contexts with well-defined offices, purposes, and norms of conduct. But it inadequately identifies corruption in political contexts, that is, the processes of contestation through which common purposes, norms, and rules are created. Corruption in a democracy, I argue, involves duplicitous violations of the democratic norm of inclusion. Such a conception encompasses the standard conception while complementing it with attention to the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion within democratic politics. By distinguishing the meanings of inclusion and exclusion within the many institutions, spheres, and associations that constitute contemporary democracies, I provide a democratic conception of corruption with a number of implications. The most important of these is that corruption in a democracy usually indicates a deficit of democracy.’

Peter Kirwan (English) - Textual Corruption


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  • Paul Werstine. "Narratives about Printed Shakespeare Texts: "Foul Papers" and "Bad" Quartos." Shakespeare Quarterly 41:1 (1990), 65-86:. Discusses the provenance of narratives created to explain corruption in Shakespearean texts, which link corruption to the involvement of multiple agencies, the dissolution of the pure authorial body and the undermining of authority throughout texts.
  • Laurie E. Maguire. Shakespearean Suspect Texts: The "Bad" Quartos and Their Contents. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1996. This monograph particularly tackles the theory of "memorial reconstruction", processes by which corrupt texts are imagined to have been created by actors and other subsidiary agents.
  • Jeffrey Masten. Textual Intercourse: Collaboration, Authorship and Sexualities in Renaissance Drama. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1997. Among other things, this monograph discusses the treatment of collaborative authorship as a form of textual/literary corruption, and links it to prejudices against homosexual/homosocial discourses as themselves corrupting/corrupted.

Mark Harrison (Economics)


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  • Mark Harrison and Byung-Yeon Kim. 2006. Plans, Prices, and Corruption: The Soviet Firm Under Partial Centralization, 1930 to 1990. Journal of Economic History 66/1, 1-41.
  • Andrei Shleifer and Vishny, Robert W. 1993. Corruption. Quarterly Journal of Economics 108/3, 599-618.
  • Paolo Mauro. 1995. Corruption and Growth. Quarterly Journal of Economics 110/3, 681-712.
  • Two recent surveys:
  • Nauro F. Campos, Ralitza Dimova, and Ahmad Saleh. 2010. Whither Corruption? A Quantitative Survey of the Literature on Corruption and Growth. IZA DP No. 5334.
  • Jakob Svensson. 2005. Eight Questions about Corruption. Journal of Economic Perspectives 19/3, 19-42
  • Toke S. Aidt. 2009. Corruption, institutions, and economic development. Oxford Review of Economic Policy 25/2, pp. 271-291.

Mark Knights (History): British and Colonial Corruption 1600-1850

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  • J.C Davis, Utopia and the Ideal Society: a study of English Utopian writing, 1516-1700 (1981). Utopianism was often the idealisation of non-corrupt society.
  • Faramerz Dabhoiwala, “Sex and the Societies for Moral Reform, 1688–1800,” Journal of British Studies, 46, (2007), 290–319. Examines the moral crises that accompanied or were seen as part of a corruption of society.
  • Nicholas Dirks, The Scandal of Empire: India and the Creation of Imperial Britain (2006). Explores the imperil dimension of corruption, since India figured large in British perceptions of both individual and collective corruption.
  • Philip Harling, ‘Rethinking Old Corruption’, Past and Present (1995). 'Old Corruption' was the term used for the systematic corruption that was reformed in the early C19th.
  • Isaac Kramnick, "Corruption in Eighteenth-Century English and American Political Discourse," in Virtue, Corruption and Self-Interest (Lehigh University, 1994) ed Richard Matthews
  • Emmanuel Kreike and William Jordan (eds), Corrupt Histories (2004). A really excellent set of essays using a wide variety of historical examples to investigate the subject.
  • James Moore and John Smith (ed.), Corruption in urban politics and society, Britain 1780-1950 (2007)
  • Linda Levy Peck, Court Patronage and Corruption in early Stuart England (1990). Excellent in-depth analysis of one period when corruption was widespread but not always acknowledged.
  • Mark Philp, 'Defining Political Corruption' Political Studies (1997), XLV, 436-62. Very helpful suggestions about how to approach the subject.
  • John Pocock, The Machiavellian Moment (1971) A classic text about the role of corruption in political discourse over the C16-C18th.
  • W D Rubinstein, ‘The End of “Old Corruption” in Britain 1780-1860’, Past and Present (1983).
  • Brian Smith, 'Edmund Burke, The Warren Hastings Trial and the Moral Dimension of Corruption', Polity (2008). Warren Hastings was tried in Parliament in a very lengthy process for corruption in India - it was the landmark corruption trial of the later C18th. Edmund Burke took the lead in the prosecution and used his eloquence to develop ideas of corruption.
  • Woodruff Smith, 'Corruption and Eighteenth Century Social Science: Mapping the Space of Political Economy', Studies in Eighteenth Century Culture 38 (2009) Argues that ideas about corruption helped to shape the science of political economy
  • Jean-Claude Waquet, Corruption: Ethics and Power in Florence 1600-1770 (1992). A penetrating comparative analysis that seeks to make general points about corruption from historical evidence.


Detail from Corrupt Legislation. Mural by Elihu Vedder. Figure is seated atop a pedestal saying "Corrupt Legislation". Artist's signature is dated 1896 (Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division).