Oslo Summer School in Comparative Social Science Studies 2015

The Quality of Government: Human Well-Being, Social Trust and Corruption in a Comparative Perspective

Lecturer: Professor Bo Rothstein,
Department of Political Science,
University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Main disciplines: Political Science,
Sociology, Economics

Dates: 27 - 31 July 2015
Course Credits: 10 pts (ECTS)
Limitation: 25 participants


Objectives
From being largely an ignored problem, since the late 1990s issues about the quality of government and corruption have reached the center stage both in academic research and in high level policy circles. New theories, stressing the importance of various political institutions for development coupled with more and better data, has dramatically changed the intellectual landscape.

The quality of government and its opposite, corruption, is now generally thought as a serious social ill, having detrimental effects on a large number of “valued outcomes” such as economic prosperity, population health, the level of child deprivation, people’s perceived satisfaction with life, social trust, political legitimacy, and economic equality. In addition to these issues, several recent studies have pointed out that low quality of government in its various forms (corruption, clientelism, patrimonialism) also is a causal factor behind violent political conflicts, both inter- as well as intra-state.

This has also led to an increased interest the negative effects corruption has for rebuilding post-conflict societies and for establishing representative democracy. Since corruption tends to be a politically sensitive issue, the “coded language” for this policy re-orientation has been to stress the importance of “good governance”. This course will address five main issues. 1). How should concepts such as quality of government and corruption be defined? 2) What are the effects on human well-being from quality of government? 3) What is the relation between representative democracy and quality of government? 4). How can quality of government and corruption be measured and studied empirically? 5) What explains the variation between countries in their levels of corruption and quality of government? 


Specific requirements for admission to the course
Each session will consist of a lecture of about 45 min. followed by a general discussion of about 45 min. Students are requested to take active part in the discussion and must therefore have read the assigned literature prior to each session. Specific readings for each session (from the preliminary syllabus below) will be sent out two months before course start.


Essential reading
All participants need to obtain and read this book in advance of the course

  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in International Perspective. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (230 p)


COURSE OUTLINE

Session one:
How can we make social science more relevant?

  • Rothstein, Bo. (2014). "Human Well-Being and the Lost Relevance of Political Science." European University Institute, Firenze, Badia Fiesolana. (35 p.)
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective (Chapters 2 and 3)

Session two:
What is quality of government and what should count as corruption?

  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective (Chapter 1)
  • Agnafors, Marcus. (2013). "Quality of Government: Towards a More Complex Definition." American Political Science Review 107:433-445.
  • Fukuyama, Francis. (2013). "What is Governance?" Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions 26:347-368.
  • Rothstein, Bo. (2014). "What is the opposite of corruption?" Third World Quarterly 35:737-757.

Session three:
War, peace and corruption.

  • Lapuente, Victor and Bo Rothstein. (2014). "Civil War Spain versus Swedish Harmony: The Quality of Government Factor " Comparative Political Studies 47:1416-1441.
  • Teorell, Jan (2015) “A Quality of Government Peace? Explaining the Onset of Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1985-2001.” Comparative Political Studies 47:1416-1441. (forthcoming)
  • Keefe, Patrick Radden (2015). “Corruption and Revolt.” The New Yorker 2015:1

Session four:
Democracy vs corruption. What creates political legitimacy?

  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective (Chapters 4 and 9)
  • Dahlberg, Stefan and Sören Holmberg. (2014). "Democracy and Bureaucracy: How their Quality Matters for Popular Satisfaction." West European Politics 37:515-527.
  • Gilley, Bruce. (2006). "The Determinants of State Legitimacy: Results for 72 countries." International Political Science Review 27:47-71.
  • Rothstein, Bo (2015). “The Chinese Paradox of High Growth and Low Quality of Government: The Cadre Organization Meets Max Weber.” Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions. Online preview Nov 4, 2014.

Session five:
Social capital, generalized trust and quality of government

  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective (Chapters 7 and 8)
  • Rothstein, Bo. (2013). "Corruption and Social Trust: Why the Fish Roots from the Head Down." Social Research 80:1009-1032.

Session six:
The welfare state, social solidarity and quality of government

  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective (Chapter 6)
  • Svallfors, Stefan. (2013). "Government quality, egalitarianism, and attitudes to taxes and social spending: a European comparison." European Political Science Review 5:363-380.
  • Dahlström, Carl, Johannes Lindvall, and Bo Rothstein. (2013). "Corruption, Bureaucratic Failure and Social Policy Priorities." Political Studies 61:523-542.
  • Halleröd, Björn, Bo Rothstein, Adel Daoud, and Shailen Nandy. (2013). "Bad Governance and Poor Children: A Comparative Analysis of Government Efficiency and Severe Child Deprivation in 68 Low- and Middle-income Countries." World Development 48:19-31.

Session seven.
The new liberal dilemma: Ethnic diversity, social solidarity and quality of government

  • Rothstein, Bo (2015). “Solidarity, Diversity and the Quality of Government.” In Strains of Commitment, edited by K.G. Banting and W. Kymlicka. Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming) (32 p).
  • Charron, Nicholas and Bo Rothstein. (2014). "Regions of Trust and Distrust." University of Gothenburg. The Quality of Government Institute: Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference, April 3-6, 2014, Chicago, IL (32 p).
  • Nannestad, Peter, Svendsen, Gert T., Dinesen, Peter T., and Sonderskov, Kim M. (2014). “Do institutions or Culture Determine the Level of Social Trust? The Natural Experiment of Migration from Non-western to Western Countries.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 40:522-565.

Session eight.
Are women less prone to corruption than men?

  • Sundström, Axel and Lena Wängnerud. (2014). "Corruption as an obstacle to women’s political representation: Evidence from local councils in 18 European countries." Party Politics 20 (20 p).
  • Wängnerud, Lena. (2012). "Why Women Are Less Corrupt than Men." Pp. 212-232 in Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science, edited by S. Holmberg and B. Rothstein. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Wängnerud, Lena, (2015). ”Gender and Corruption”, in Paul Heywood (ed.) Handbook of Political Corruption. London: Routledge (15 p.)

Session nine.
Historical roots of corruption and bad government. Why are some societies more corrupt than others?

  • Rothstein, Bo and Rasmus Broms. (2013). "Governing Religion: The Long-Term Effects of Sacred Financing." Journal of Institutional Economics 9:469-490.
  • Rothstein, Bo and Jan Teorell. (2015). “Getting to Sweden, Part I: Breaking with Corruption in the 19th Century.” Forthcoming in Scandinavian Political Studies (25 p.)
  • Rothstein, Bo and Jan Teorell. (2015). “Getting to Sweden, Part II: Breaking with Corruption in the 19th Century.” Forthcoming in Scandinavian Political Studies (21 p.)
  • Uslaner, Eric M. and Bo Rothstein. (2012). “Mass Education, Statebuilding and Equality: Searching for the Roots of Corruption.” QoG Working Paper 2012:5. The Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden (34 p.)
  • Guiso, Luigi, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales. (2008). "Long Term Persistence." NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 14278, Cambridge, MA (35 p.)

Session ten.
Improving quality of government and fighting corruption: What do we know? What can be done?

  • Brautigam, Deborah and Stephen Knack. (2004). "Foreign Aid, Instituitons and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa." Economic Development and Cultural Change 5:155-185.
  • Dahlström, Carl, Victor Lapuente, and Jan Teorell. (2011). "The Merit of Meritocratization: Politics, Bureaucracy, and the Institutional Deterrents of Corruption." Political Research Quarterly 65:656-668.
  • Mungiu-Pippidi, Alina. (2006). "Corruption: Diagnosis and Treatment." Journal of Democracy 17:86-99.
  • Persson, Anna, Bo Rothstein, and Jan Teorell. (2013). "Why Anticorruption Reforms Fails: Systemic Corruption as a Collective Action Problem." Governance - an International Journal of Policy Administration and Institutions 26:449-471.
  • Persson, Anna and Bo Rothstein. (2014). "It’s My Money: Why Big Government May Be Good Government." Comparative Politics (forthcoming, 20 p.).
  • Rothstein, Bo, and Jan Teorell. (2015). “Causes of Corruption”. in Paul Heywood (ed.): The Handbook of Political Corruption. London: Routledge (16 p.)


Complete reading list

  • Agnafors, Marcus. 2013. "Quality of Government: Towards a More Complex Definition." American Political Science Review 107:433-445.
  • Brautigam, Deborah and Stephen Knack. 2004. "Foreign Aid, Instituitons and Governance in Sub-Saharan Africa." Economic Development and Cultural Change 5:155-185.
  • Charron, Nicholas and Bo Rothstein. 2014. "Regions of Trust and Distrust." University of Gothenburg. The Quality of Government Institute: Paper presented at the Midwest Political Science Association annual conference, April 3-6, 2014, Chicago, IL (32 p).
  • Dahlberg, Stefan and Sören Holmberg. 2014. "Democracy and Bureaucracy: How their Quality Matters for Popular Satisfaction." West European Politics 37:515-527.
  • Dahlström, Carl, Victor Lapuente, and Jan Teorell. 2011. "The Merit of Meritocratization: Politics, Bureaucracy, and the Institutional Deterrents of Corruption." Political Research Quarterly 65:656-668.
  • Dahlström, Carl, Johannes Lindvall, and Bo Rothstein. 2013. "Corruption, Bureaucratic Failure and Social Policy Priorities." Political Studies 61:523-542.
  • Fukuyama, Francis. 2013. "What is Governance?" Governance: An International Journal of Policy, Administration and Institutions 26:347-368.
  • Gilley, Bruce. 2006. "The Determinants of State Legitimacy: Results for 72 countries." International Political Science Review 27:47-71.
  • Guiso, Luigi, Paola Sapienza, and Luigi Zingales. 2008. "Long Term Persistence." NBER - National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper 14278, Cambridge, MA (35 p.)
  • Halleröd, Björn, Bo Rothstein, Adel Daoud, and Shailen Nandy. 2013. "Bad Governance and Poor Children: A Comparative Analysis of Government Efficiency and Severe Child Deprivation in 68 Low- and Middle-income Countries." World Development 48:19-31.
  • Keefe, Patrick Radden (2015). “Corruption and Revolt.” The New Yorker 2015:1
  • Lapuente, Victor and Bo Rothstein. 2014. "Civil War Spain versus Swedish Harmony: The Quality of Government Factor " Comparative Political Studies 47:1416-1441.
  • Mungiu-Pippidi, Alina. 2006. "Corruption: Diagnosis and Treatment." Journal of Democracy 17:86-99.
  • Nannestad, Peter, Svendsen, Gert T., Dinesen, Peter T., and Sonderskov, Kim M. (2014). “Do institutions or Culture Determine the Level of Social Trust? The Natural Experiment of Migration from Non-western to Western Countries.” Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 40:522-565.
  • Persson, Anna, Bo Rothstein, and Jan Teorell. 2013. "Why Anticorruption Reforms Fails: Systemic Corruption as a Collective Action Problem." Governance-an International Journal of Policy Administration and Institutions 26:449-471.
  • Persson, Anna, Bo Rothstein, and Jan Teorell. (2013). "Why Anticorruption Reforms Fails: Systemic Corruption as a Collective Action Problem." Governance - an International Journal of Policy Administration and Institutions 26:449-471.
  • Persson, Anna and Bo Rothstein. 2014. "It’s My Money: Why Big Government May Be Good Government." Comparative Politics (forthcoming, 20 p.).
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2011. The Quality of Government: Corruption, Social Trust and Inequality in a Comparative Perspective. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. (230 p)
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2013. "Corruption and Social Trust: Why the Fish Roots from the Head Down." Social Research 80:1009-1032.
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2014. "Human Well-Being and the Lost Relevance of Political Science." European University Institute, Firenze, Badia Fiesolana. (35 p.)
  • Rothstein, Bo. 2014. "What is the opposite of corruption?" Third World Quarterly 35:737-757.
  • Rothstein, Bo and Davide Torsello. 2014. "Bribery in pre-industrial societies: Understanding the universalism-particularism puzzle." Journal of Anthropological Research 70:263-282.
  • Rothstein, Bo, and Jan Teorell.  2015. “Causes of Corruption”. in Paul Heywood (ed.): The Handbook of Political Corruption. London: Routledge (16 p.)
  • Rothstein, Bo and Jan Teorell. 2015. “Getting to Sweden, Part I: Breaking with Corruption in the 19th Century.” Forthcoming in Scandinavian Political Studies (25 p.)
  • Rothstein, Bo and Jan Teorell. 2015. “Getting to Sweden, Part II: Breaking with Corruption in the 19th Century.” Forthcoming in Scandinavian Political Studies (21 p.)
  • Rothstein, Bo, Marcus Samanni, and Jan Teorell. 2012. "Explaining the welfare state: power resources vs. the Quality of Government." European Political Science Review 4:1-28.
  • Rothstein, Bo and Rasmus Broms. 2013. "Governing Religion: The Long-Term Effects of Sacred Financing." Journal of Institutional Economics 9:469-490.
  • Sundström, Axel and Lena Wängnerud. 2014. "Corruption as an obstacle to women’s political representation: Evidence from local councils in 18 European countries." Party Politics 20 (20 p).
  • Svallfors, Stefan. 2013. "Government quality, egalitarianism, and attitudes to taxes and social spending: a European comparison." European Political Science Review 5:363-380.
  • Teorell, Jan (2015) “A Quality of Government Peace? Explaining the Onset of Militarized Interstate Disputes, 1985-2001.” Comparative Political Studies 47:1416-1441. (forthcoming)
  • Uslaner, Eric M. and Bo Rothstein. 2012. "Mass Education, Statebuilding and Equality: Searching for the Roots of Corruption." QoG Working Paper 2012:5. The Quality of Government Institute, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden (34 p.)
  • Wängnerud, Lena. 2012. "Why Women Are Less Corrupt than Men." Pp. 212-232 in Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science, edited by S. Holmberg and B. Rothstein. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
  • Wängnerud, Lena, 2105. ”Gender and Corruption”, in Paul Heywood (ed.) Handbook of Political Corruption. London: Routledge (15 p.)

 

The lecturer
Bo Rothstein holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at University of Gothenburg in Sweden where he is head of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute.  Rothstein took his PhD at Lund University in 1986 and served at the Department of Government at Uppsala University 1986 to 1995. He has been a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation, Collegium Budapest for Advanced Study, Harvard University, University of Washington-Seattle, Cornell University, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study, the Australian National University and Stanford University.

He has served as adjunct professor at University of Bergen and University of Aalborg. His most recent books are The Quality of Government: Corruption, Inequality and Social Trust in International Perspective (University of Chicago Press 2011, also published in Chinese in 2012 by Xinhua Publishers) and the co-edited volume Good Government: The Relevance of Political Science (Edward Elgar 2012). Among his other books in English are Just Institutions Matter: The Moral and Political Logic of the Universal Welfare State and Social Traps and the Problem of Trust (both published by Cambridge University Press) He has published in journals such as World Politics, World Development, Comparative Politics, Governance, Comparative Political Studies and Politics & Society. In 2003, he was awarded a Leading Scholars grant by the Swedish Science Council and in 2013 he got an Advanced Research Grant by the European Research Council. He is a regular contributor to the public debate in Sweden and internationally on issues such as social justice, anti-corruption and human well-being.

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Published Aug. 14, 2014 2:47 PM - Last modified Jan. 7, 2016 10:47 AM