Narratives of (anti-)corruption

Open Panel

Since corruption (re)emerged on the political agenda at the global level and in most countries around the world in the 1990s, multiple narratives on corruption and anti-corruption have emerged, within international organization, social movement or populist discourse, with overlaps and fundamental differences.

Discourse and narratives about (anti-)corruption are important objects of study for – at least – three reasons. Firstly, they reflect the current (and past) state of play of the “fight against corruption” and thus helps us understand this policy domain. Secondly, language is more than a reflection of the world, and applied to corruption and anti-corruption it mediates our experience – especially in contexts where citizens are rarely exposed directly to such practices. It shapes our understanding of what corruption means, what should be considered corruption and how best to deal with it. Lastly, these discourses and narratives have concrete political effects and can, for instance, both inspire reforms for more open and inclusive societies and feed populist movements and polarization.

This panel welcomes contributions that seek to understand the origins and the construction of discourse and narratives on (anti-)corruption within international organisations, political speech, social movements or academic work, and/or that study their effects on polity, politics and policy.