BSSn4465 Political corruption

Faculty of Social Studies
Autumn 2021
Extent and Intensity
1/1. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: zk (examination).
Taught in person.
Mgr. Aneta Pinková, Ph.D. (lecturer)
Guaranteed by
prof. JUDr. PhDr. Miroslav Mareš, Ph.D.
Department of Political Science - Faculty of Social Studies
Contact Person: Mgr. Lucie Pospíšilová
Supplier department: Division of Security and Strategic Studies - Department of Political Science - Faculty of Social Studies
Mon 8:00–9:40 U41
Prerequisites (in Czech)
! BSS465 Politická korupce && ! NOW ( BSS465 Politická korupce ) && !( POLn4053 Political Corruption ) && ! NOW ( POLn4053 Political Corruption )
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is also offered to the students of the fields other than those the course is directly associated with.
The capacity limit for the course is 50 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 14/50, only registered: 0/50, only registered with preference (fields directly associated with the programme): 0/50
fields of study / plans the course is directly associated with
Course objectives
The course offers the possibility of a deeper understanding of political corruption, its causes and consequences. It will deal both with theoretical and methodological issues related to the study of corruption (such as definition, operationalization, measurement etc.) and practical/empirical problems such as anti-corruption policies, political party finance and transparency of public contracts and related security issues.
Learning outcomes
Students will be able to:
– explain advantages and weaknesses of various definitions of corruption;
– describe and compare different forms of clientelism;
– describe and assess various anti-corruption strategies;
– describe possible impacts of corruption on the quality of democracy and the political system;
- evaluate security risks related to corruption in different regions.
  • 1. Introduction: course organization and requirements, definitions of corruption, political and administrative corruption, the social organization of corruption, institutional corruption. 2. Corruption as a social and economic issue: development and impact of perception of corruption, cultural context, economic consequences. 3. Corruption as a political issue: corruption as a threat of democracy, political consequences of corruption, corruption as a method of promoting interests 4. Corruption and political parties. 5. Corruption and media. 6. Other actor and stakeholders: NGOs, business, political entrepreneurs. 7. How to measure and control corruption? Methods of measuring corruption, corruption indexes, Global Integrity Project, anti-corruption strategies. 8. How to do research on political corruption? Corruption as a research topic, availability and reliability of data, research approaches, seminal works and influential authors. 9. Case studies: pork-barrel politics. 10. Case studies: transparency of public contracts 11. Case studies: prominent corruption scandals in European countries and the USA 12. Corruption in the Czech Republic 13. Anti-corruption policies in the Czech Republic
    required literature
  • • Gardiner, John A. 2001. Defining Corruption, in: Heidenheimer, Arnold J. – Johnston, M. (eds.): Political Corruption, Concepts & Contexts. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers, pp. 25-40.
  • • Kurer, Oskar. 2001. Why do Voters Support Corrupt Politicians? In Arvind K. Jain (ed). The Political Economy of Corruption. London: Routledge. pp. 63-86. (
  • • Miller, Nicholas R. 1999. Logrolling. An entry in The Encyclopedia of Democratic Thought (Routledge) edited by Paul Barry Clarke and Joe Foweraker. (
  • • Muno, Wolfgang. 2013. Clientelist corruption networks: conceptual and empirical approaches, in: Debiel, T. – Gawrich, A. (eds.): (Dys-)Functionalities of Corruption: Comparative Perspectives and Methodological Pluralism. Wiesbaden: Springer VS, pp. 33-
    not specified
  • • Philp, M. 2018. The Definition of Political Corruption. IN P. M. Heywood (Ed.), Routledge Handbook of Political Corruption. Abingdon, New York, NY: Routledge, pp. 17-29.
  • • Rose-Ackerman, Susan. 1999. Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences, and Reform. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 113-126.
  • • Hilgers, Tina (ed). 2012. Clientelism In Everyday Latin American Politics, pp. 4-22.
  • • United Nations. 2005. Draft: United Nations Handbook on Practical Anti-Corruption Measures for Prosecutors and Investigators (, pp. 49-50 + 67-68 (excluding section B) + 73-74 (
  • • Kobis, Nils, C. – Iragorri-Carter, Daniel – Starke, Christopher. A Social Psychological View on the Social Norms of Corruption. In. Kubbe, Ina and Engelbert Annika (eds.) Corruption and Norms: Why Informal Rules Matter. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 31
  • • Mungiu-Pippidi, Alina. 2013. Controlling Corruption Through Collective Action. Journal of Democracy, 24(1), pp. 86–99.
  • • Magrath, William B. 2011. Corruption and crime in forestry. IN: Graycar. A. and Smith, R. G. (eds.) Handbook of Global Research and Practice in Corruption. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing Limited, pp. 170-179.
  • • Heywood P. M . and Rose J. (2014). “Close but no Cigar”: the measurement of corruption. Journal of Public Policy, 34(3), pp. 507-529. (
  • • Otaluka, Wisdom Okwuoma. 2017. The Cultural Roots of Corruption: An Ethical Investigation with Particular Reference to Nepotism. Thesis. University of Kwazulu-Natal, pp. 74-76 (chapter 3.1.3) + 89-115. (
Teaching methods
Lectures, class discussion, reading, presentations of written assignments by students.
Assessment methods
Oral exam, essay, active participation in the seminars including a presentation of one paper.
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only in Czech)
The course is taught annually.
Teacher's information
For more detailed instructions please see the Syllabus in the in "Course-Related Instruction" in "Study Materials" in the online Information System.
The course is also listed under the following terms Autumn 2020.
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