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Informal Governance and Corruption - Transcending the Principal Agent and Collective Action Paradigms

Basel Institute on Governance

Project Website

For details of the ongoing progress of this award please check the Informal Governance and Corruption - Transcending the Principal Agent and Collective Action Paradigms project blog.

Whereas anticorruption agencies routinely prescribe the strengthening of formal mechanisms top-down, we focus on informal practices indicative of the incentives of stakeholders in the political, economic and social realms bottom-up. The proposal stems from FP7 ANTICORRP findings on Mexico, Russia, and Tanzania and seeks to test them in a wider set of highly corrupt countries in East Africa and the former Soviet Union.

We will identify informal practices operational in our selected countries and establish their universal and specific features in comparative analysis; assess their functional ambivalence based on the functions they perform in their respective economies, and indicate the extent to which they fuel corruption and stifle anticorruption policies.

A multidisciplinary research team combines unique regional expertise and practical experience in order to produce evidence for the relevance of informality for the 'localisation’ of anticorruption strategies, thus enhancing their impact, and for a new generation of policies harnessing the potential of local patterns of informality.

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