Mobile phones and other technologies have transformed the nature and dynamics of informal social networks in Kyrgyzstan. Some scholars argue that new technology (electronisation, digitalisation) helps to prevent corruption and reduce the risk of bribery, informal social networks and bureaucracy. In their view, new technology has the potential to create transparent and efficient ways to access public services.
The enormity of the situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic invites – or rather forces – us to reflect on the nature and effectiveness of our systems of governance. And not just of health systems, but more broadly the governance of our very complex societies and their transnational flows.
I start with some definitions, as the term governance is itself broad and contested.
In its new report on Breaking the Silence around Sextortion, Transparency International references our work on the recent evolvement of the anti-corruption field towards “documenting and recognising non-monetary forms of corruption”.
High-profile law enforcement operations against illegal wildlife trade (IWT), such as Interpol’s Operation Thunderball in July and the arrest of notorious trafficker Moazu Kromah in Uganda in June 2019, have drawn welcome attention to IWT as a financial and organised crime and not only a conservation issue.
Yet in working to strengthen legal frameworks and law enforcement capacity in countries that suffer from high levels of IWT, we must not forget the social drivers and facilitators behind wildlife trafficking – factors that laws alone are powerless to change.
This quick guide by Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Governance Research, draws on Ms Baez Camargo's decades of research on social norms and their implications for anti-corruption practice. She explores:
- What is a social norm?
- How do social norms drive and perpetuate corrupt behaviour?
- The case of health facilities in East Africa
- How to identify social norms that drive corrupt behaviour
- What are the implications for anti-corruption practice?
This quick guide draws on a more comprehensive blog by Claudia Baez Camargo published on the website of the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) research programme.
Find more details on the GI-ACE anti-corruption research projects led by Dr Baez Camargo’s team at the Basel Institute on Governance, as well as other pioneering research on social norms and implications for anti-corruption practice, at the end of this guide.
Our latest Working Paper on "Corruption and wildlife trafficking: exploring drivers, facilitators and networks behind illegal wildlife trade in East Africa" is part of a multi-disciplinary programme of work focused on intelligence-led action against financial crime in illegal wildlife trade (IWT).
Public governance experts and other practitioners are increasingly interested in the role of social norms and cultural codes in driving – or preventing – behaviour, including corrupt behaviour, and shaping the governance capacity of public and administrative bodies.
A summary of groundbreaking research into social norms and attitudes towards corruption by our Public Governance team has been published in Ellis, Jane (ed.) Corruption, Social Sciences and the Law – Exploration across the disciplines. Published by Routledge, the book is part of a series entitled The Law of Financial Crime.