Beyond Anti-Corruptionism: Sociological Imagination and Comparative Study of Corruption

in Comparative Sociology
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Abstract

This article outlines and illustrates a theoretical blueprint for comparative sociology of corruption. The author argues that existing cross-national studies of corruption, influenced by the global political movement for transparency, undermine fundamental sociological principles. At the same time, truly sociological studies of corruption are unfavorable to comparisons due to their emphasis on the singularity of exchange economies in non-Western societies. The author argues that there are three analytical foci that can help researchers resolve the tension between ‘insensitive’ large-N and ‘overly-sensitive’ small-N studies of corruption: the principle of social embeddedness, multiplicity of rationality, and localized power implications. A comparative study of university corruption in Post-Soviet Ukraine and Belarus is used to illustrate the strengths of the proposed analytical framework.

Beyond Anti-Corruptionism: Sociological Imagination and Comparative Study of Corruption

in Comparative Sociology

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  • 3)

    In 1997Lancaster and Montinola for instance published a piece in Crime Law and Social Change in which they extolled the promise of discoveries to be made by cross-national analyses of corruption indicators.

  • 6)

    See Bardhan (1997) for an overview.

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