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The Australian National University

Corruption Studies

The Australian National University offers a number of Graduate and Undergraduate courses that deal with corruption issues. Complete details can be found on Programs & Courses.


Corruption in Our World CRIM6009

With the World Bank estimating that globally about $1 trillion per year is paid in bribes, and that this illegality leads to poor economic performance and human rights violations, this course examines the phenomenon of corruption, identifies the contexts within which it flourishes, explores means of measuring it, & analyses the opportunity structure for corruption.  The course also focuses on corruption control, and co-operative arrangements which aim to prevent and contain corruption.

For more information click here.

Corruption and Anti-Corruption POGO8076

The course is an interdisciplinary introduction to the theory and practice of corruption and anti-corruption. It shows how different understandings of corruption suggest different remedies. Students will consider definitions, explanations and measures of corruption, and its links to development, politics and culture. The course will also consider ways of evaluating anti-corruption measures, including cleanup campaigns, anti-corruption commissions and NGOs.

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Trans-national Anti-Corruption Laws LAWS8009

The course focuses on international anti-corruption law and practice from an Australian perspective. It examines in detail transnational bribery laws and enforcement regimes in Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom.

It considers practical efforts to combat corporate corruption, the psychology of corruption and contemporary challeges to enforcement including whistleblowers, deferred prosecution regimes and asset recover.

The course also includes includes a focus on the challenges presented by regulating corruption in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Ethics and Public Policy POGO8021

How can public leaders exercise ethical leadership, and how can we promote clean government, given the many excuses for 'dirty hands' made by government leaders? This course provides students with an introduction to debates over public sector ethics, focusing on the roles and responsibilities of public servants and their relationships to politicians and others sharing public power. The unit uses practical examples and case studies of ethical problems from across the public sector, blending Australian and international material so that students can learn from a variety of policy frameworks appropriate to the regulation of public conduct. Students will examine core theories of ethics with the aim of relating these to prevailing theories of public policy and practices of public administration.  They will also examine various approaches to codifying and enforcing public sector ethics.

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Truth and Falsity in Indian History and Politics ASIA6272

Contemporary India finds itself at the intersection of the trajectories of a number of widely varying notions of truth, falsity, authenticity and illegitimacy. The variation in these trajectories—in their cultural origins and in their content—can make their crossings unpredictable and explosive and often unintelligible. This course will explore with students the claims and negotiations that are fundamental to some of the critical debates in Indian history and politics over the past two centuries. In particular it will aim to alert students to the possibility that underlying these contentious events, ideas and processes are contending claims to truth and authenticity.

The course will focus on a set of truth claims that constitute the interface of cultural interactions within India and between Indian cultures and the rest of the world: stereotypes, stories, histories, myths, corruption and claims to authenticity and ethnicity. Such a study of India, by facilitating the study of cultural interactions through the prism of different configurations of truth and falsity, rather than the prism of power, will also encourage students to think more broadly and deeply about the interplay between notions of truth.

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Law and Development in the Contemporary South Pacific LAWS8006

'Good governance', 'rule of law', 'strengthening access to justice' and 'land reform' are currently high on the agenda of governments and donors in the South Pacific region. Law reform is often presented as a remedy to political instability, corruption, disappointing economic growth, and conflict.

This course introduces students to the legal systems of the independent nations of the South Pacific and examines the relationship between law, governance and development in the region. It considers:

  • the general features of law and legal systems in countries of the South Pacific, including the influence of custom and tradition;
  • the multiple meanings of 'law' in the social, political and legislative contexts of the South Pacific;
  • constitutions, leadership and the organisation of the state;
  • 'state building' and 'access to justice' in the 'arc of instability'; and
  •  current debates about the status and recognition of customary law, particularly in relation to (i) land and natural resource management and (ii) human rights.

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International Financial Institutions and Development LAWS8032

This course will examine the developmental role, constituent treaties, operational principles and limitations, immunities and privileges, and governance structures of international financial institutions (IFIs). Primary consideration will be given to the Asian Development Bank which is the leading regional development bank in the Asia-Pacific region, and comparisons will be made with other IFIs including the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the African Development Bank, and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The course will cover project lending operations of development banks through the project cycle, from project preparation to project completion and the preparation of legal agreements. The course will also analyse interventions by these institutions in law and policy reform activities. The course will also address how other issues are handled including formulation and development of anticorruption policies and social safeguard policies, engagement with civil society, and establishment and operation of accountability mechanisms to address citizen grievances with bank projects.

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Governance, State Weakness and Human Security in Asia NSPO8016

This course examines the key challenges to good governance in Asia.  Poor governance is generally interdependent with 'state-weakness' and the course demonstrates how this mix is evidenced by gaps in regime legitimacy, state capacity and/or human security. Moreover, the course examines how these factors contribute to increased poverty, environmental degradation, communal violence, transnational crime, corruption and the propensity of a government to resort to violence in the resolution of disputes. Furthermore, the emphasis of the course on human security is essential not only because of its nexus with state weakness and poor governance, but also because of how significant 'insecurity' has the potential to undermine the stability of the state and exacerbate the risk of armed conflict - at the domestic and/or transnational levels. Finally, the course examines potential avenues to improve governance in Asia including political and security sector reforms, military and civil service professionalization programs, development aid and regionalism (e.g. ASEAN)

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Contemporary Challenges in Diplomacy DIPL8002

This course examines in detail a range of contemporary issues that present challenges for diplomatic practitioners and which appear to demand innovative diplomatic responses. There are an increasing number of global and regional issues which can only be managed through diplomatic processes, not through the use of force. But how best to manage these issues is exceptionally challenging. For example, the increase in violent international terrorism is putting the debate about whether diplomacy is a necessary but not sufficient management under the spotlight. Moreover, there are other types of challenges that are the result of new methods of practicing diplomacy, such as digital diplomacy and network diplomacy. Into the mix, the increasing networks of state-based diplomats and non-state actors, raise questions about the exact nature of diplomatic challenges from the perspective of the different players.  
These challenges raise practical and intellectual questions. For example, in a globalising and interdependent world exactly what comprises states' interests and who decides - how do the representatives of the state, the state-based diplomats, attempt to reconcile their state's national interests around issues that require collective action. What does sovereignty mean today and how do state-based diplomats and non-state actors frame and negotiate sovereignty? How are global and regional multilateral institutions and regimes negotiated and in whose interests and values? Is international law or politics the structure that directs diplomatic agency and practice? Does the analysis of diplomatic practices concerned with contemporary diplomatic challenges provide generalisations that inform a theory of practice?

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For more information on the Australian National University's undergraduate programs click here.

Corruption in Our World CRIM2009

With the World Bank estimating that globally about $1 trillion per year is paid in bribes, and that this illegality leads to poor economic performance and human rights violations, this course examines the phenomenon of corruption, identifies the contexts within which it flourishes, explores means of measuring it, & analyses the opportunity structure for corruption.  The course also focuses on corruption control, and co-operative arrangements which aim to prevent and contain corruption.

For more information click here.

Corruption in Sport CRIM3002

As the world becomes a more interconnected place, sport has become a cultural sphere in which localities, regions and nations meet to compete individually or as teams for prizes ranging from simple peer recognition, health and fitness to celebrity status. Yet there is a darker side to sport. Highly visible scandals and allegations of corruption mean that the results of sporting competition are brought into doubt on an ever-increasing basis.

This course will introduce students the multifaceted nature of corruption in sport and useful theoretical approaches to analysing the phenomena. For example, theories of organisational culture provide a frameworks to explain why corruption occurs in one team, club, league or sport and not another. Situational crime prevention theory will guide thinking about corruption prevention. On completion, student will have the academic skills to critically analyse the phenomena by synthesising a variety of disciplinary approaches to this issue and show them that sport is now so much more than just a game.

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Development Dilemnas in Chinese Politics ASIA2063

Who gets what, and why, and how, from contemporary China's development? In this upper-level seminar course, students will examine debates about theories and concepts of development, the politics of development policy making and implementation, and distribution of the costs and benefits of development. Throughout the course,  theories will be illustrated and tested by examining case studies drawn from China's development experience. The case studies will centre on:

  • socialist, modernization, neo-liberal and neo-statist theories of development
  • the political economy of China's development: from planned economy to global markets
  • development policy: lobbying, design and implementation in China
  • corruption and development capacities
  • land, agricultural livelihoods and food security concerns: the nation and the household
  • power, gender and agency in development practice
  • distributive conflicts in domestic development
  • China's interventions in global development

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Updated: 29 October 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Institute Director / Page Contact:  Web Publisher