GV313-6-FY-CO:
Authoritarianism and Corruption

The details
2019/20
Government
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 6
Current
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
30
15 May 2019

 

Requisites for this module
(none)
(none)
(none)
(none)

 

(none)

Key module for

(none)

Module description

This module is designed to examine two current challenges to democracy: authoritarianism and corruption. Arguably, authoritarianism represents the clearest threat to democracy in the contemporary world. Corruption, though, is a more pernicious threat. It saps democracy from within by undermining government performance and eroding public trust in democratic institutions.

The module is divided in two sections:
1) In the autumn term we focus on authoritarianism. First, we'll discuss what authoritarianism is and what the most common varieties of authoritarian regimes are. Then we'll go over the factors that drive politics in dictatorships and examine how these institutions can help explain the observed variation in autocratic government performance. Last, we'll look at the logic of autocratic regime survival and conditions under which democratic transitions are more likely to occur.
2) In the spring term we'll examine corruption, a global problem that is present in dictatorships as well as democracies, in developing and more developed societies alike. In this class, we'll pay closer attention to the impact of corruption on democratic regimes. At the extreme, corruption hampers economic development, reinforces social inequality, and undermine democratic development generally. We start by defining corruption and discuss alternative tools to evaluate the extent of corruption within a given polity. We'll then examine the causes and consequence of corruption (both political and bureaucratic). Last, but not least, we'll evaluate existing strategies to contain and control this problem.

Module aims

In the Autumn Term
This module examines political and bureaucratic corruption, a global problem that is present in dictatorships as well as democracies, in developing and more developed societies alike. In particular, we'll focus on the impact of corruption on democratic regimes. At the extreme, corruption hampers economic development, reinforces social inequality, and undermine democratic development generally. We start by defining corruption and discuss alternative tools to evaluate the extent of corruption within a given polity. We'll then examine the causes and consequence of corruption (both political and bureaucratic). Last, but not least, we'll evaluate existing strategies to contain and control this problem.

In the Spring Term
The module aims to introduce students to the topic of political and bureaucratic corruption, a global problem that is present in dictatorships as well as democracies, in developing and more developed societies alike.

Module learning outcomes

The module is meant to encourage students to think on their own, while ensuring that their thoughts are coherent and logically sound. At the end of the module, students should be able to articulate cogent answers to questions such as: What explains government performance, or lack thereof, in dictatorships? Why do nondemocratic rulers govern with democratic institutions, such as legislatures and political parties?

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

1 hr lecture and 1 hr class

Bibliography

  • Lambsdorff, Johann. (2008) The institutional economics of corruption and reform: theory, evidence, and policy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Svolik, Milan W. (2012) The politics of authoritarian rule, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. vol. Cambridge studies in comparative politics
  • Johnston, Michael. (2005) Syndromes of corruption: wealth, power, and democracy, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Gandhi, Jennifer. (2008) Political institutions under dictatorship, New York: Cambridge University Press.

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Essay 1 18/11/2019 25%
Coursework Essay 2 24/02/2020 25%
Written Exam Test 1 25%
Written Exam Test 2 25%

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%

Reassessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Marius Radean
Dr Marius Radean, mradean@essex.ac.uk Module Administrator: Sallyann West, govquery@essex.ac.uk

 

Availability
Yes
Yes
No

External examiner

Dr Arzu Kibris
Associate Professor
Resources
Available via Moodle
Of 100 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
100 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).

 

Further information
Government

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