Universität KonstanzExzellenzcluster: Kulturelle Grundlagen von Integration

Corruption and Integration

International Fight against Corruption: Cultural Imperialism or Integrating Step towards a World Society?

Dr. Sebastian Wolf, Dr. Diana Schmidt-Pfister


Transnational cooperation against corruption seemed impossible for many decades. More recently, however, various anti-corruption regimes have been emerging. These Western-dominated regimes are frequently criticised for practicing cultural imperialism, i.e. economically powerful states imposing a normative straightjacket upon societies where different meanings are attached to corruption and anti-corruption. This imperialism hypothesis became challenged by the adoption of a global convention against corruption at UN level in 2003, although the success of the latter remains to be seen. Despite variable anti-corruption performance among the member states, the idea of rather universal models for fighting corruption is maintained by these international regimes.

Against this background, the research project seeks to identify the conditions for successful regimes against corruption. It departs from the working hypothesis that a concern for cultural factors is imperative for sustainable cross-national integration in this field.