Spring 2011 — TR 16:50-18:05
When and why do elected officials sell their votes to special interests, neglect their constituents, and enact policies that benefit a handful of politically connected actors? Why do in some countries regularly held elections fail to promote incumbent accountability? When is it acceptable for multinational corporations to bribe officials in foreign countries to get access to resources and local markets? How can institutions be designed to curb corruption and to increase politicians? Accountability to voters? This course examines the factors that promote good governance. We begin by classifying and measuring corruption using data from Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, South Asia, and the Middle East. Then we turn to country-specific case studies and examine how such factors as an electoral system, a political culture, the level of economic development, and natural resource endowment affect politicians. Behavior in office. Building on these case studies, we develop a general framework to understand conditions under which popular elections, political parties, a civil society, and other democratic institutions can guard effectively against corruption.