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The Ideal Within : A Discourse and Hegemony Theoretical Analysis of the International Anticorruption Discourse

By Gebel, Anja, Carolin, Dr.

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Book Id: WPLBN0002828802
Format Type: PDF (eBook)
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Reproduction Date: 9/8/2013

Title: The Ideal Within : A Discourse and Hegemony Theoretical Analysis of the International Anticorruption Discourse  
Author: Gebel, Anja, Carolin, Dr.
Volume:
Language: English
Subject: Non Fiction, Social Sciences, International Anti Corruption Programmes
Collection: Authors Community
Subcollection: Politics
Historic
Publication Date:
2013
Publisher: Anja Carolin Gebel
Member Page: Anja Carolin Gebel

Description
The doctoral dissertation analyses the international anticorruption discourse by the World Bank, UNDP and Transparency International. It draws out implicit conceptions of an ideal uncorrupted society. While international anticorruption discourse is found to be broadly reflective of what can be called advanced liberal ideals of governing, the thesis enables an in-depth understanding of the manifold and complex discursive moves through which these particular ideals are constructed and advanced by the discourse.

Summary
During the past two decades fighting corruption became an important objective of manifold international and transnational actors. Yet this powerful international anticorruption agenda has so far avoided detailed scholarly scrutiny of the ways in which it potentially contributes to the construction and advancement of particular societal ideals. This thesis addresses this lack of systematic engagement by conducting a detailed empirical analysis of the international anticorruption discourse expressed in the form of anticorruption practices of the World Bank, Transparency International and the United Nations Development Programme on the strategic policy level. Adopting a post-Marxist discourse and hegemony theoretical perspective based on the work of Laclau and Mouffe, Nonhoff as well as Howarth and Glynos, it interrogates the international anticorruption discourse with regards to the kinds of societal ideals it constructs, the ways in which they are advanced, and the extent of consensus surrounding these ideals. The thesis traces the surprisingly coherent ways in which the discourse is structured by a particular conception of human nature as self-interested and rational and centres on the manipulation of individual behaviour via institutional and cultural incentive structures. Importantly, it shows how this elevates the securing of governing processes that guarantee the stable pursuit of individual economic interests to the very purpose of societies. As the thesis demonstrates, this hegemonic project is expanded through the accommodation of a wide range of positively connoted concepts, anticorruption co-operations between powerful social actors, reliance on an objectivist kind of knowledge, and the elaborate construction of corruption as the enemy of a good society. While international anticorruption discourse is found to be broadly reflective of what can be called advanced liberal ideals of governing, the thesis enables an in-depth understanding of the manifold and complex discursive moves through which these particular ideals are constructed and advanced by the discourse.

Excerpt
"Overall, IAC discourse delegitimizes any social constellation and political project that involves a conception of human beings which differs from ‘rational and self-interested’. [...] These negations of different social structures and political projects are related to other negations, such as of non-positivist ways of acquiring knowledge and investigating corruption and possible counter-measures. In a political project that is structured consistently according to the presuppositions and findings of positivist, rational choice inspired research, any other ways of looking at the world [...] can only be risky and wrong and endanger the fight against corruption".

Table of Contents
Abbreviations Figures Acknowledgements Quotes Introduction 1 Corruption as a social construction – implications for an analysis of international anticorruption efforts The fight against corruption – an intrinsically good project? Positivist research on corruption – corruption as a fact After positivism – corruption as a socially constructed concept International anticorruption efforts as a site where corruption is constructed 2 A post-Marxist discourse and hegemony theoretical approach to the analysis of international anticorruption discourse A theory of discourse – a theory of society Hegemonic strategy, stratagems and other discursive logics The IAC consensus from a post-Marxist discourse and hegemony theoretical perspective Delimiting and analysing the discourse – ‘operationalisation’ and method 3 Creating the enemy Definitions, manifestations and locations of corruption Causes of corruption Social, political and economic consequences of corruption Subject positions Metaphors Conclusion 4 Vagueness and specificity – aims of the fight against corruption and specifications of the uncorrupted society ‘Representation’ Aims of the fight against corruption ‘Emergent openness of interpretation of the ‘representative’’ Specifications of the Universal: The social as a space in which interests are governed in the ‘right’ ways Conclusion 5 Instrumental claims – how to realise the uncorrupted society Societal reform in the target countries Anticorruption support through global intervention Subject positions – international supporters of the fight against corruption Expertise – the provision of the ‘right’ knowledge Advocacy, awareness raising and civil society capacity building Lending Technical support Avoiding dislocation – articulations of IAC interventions as unpolitical, context-sensitive, and consensual Conclusion 6 Concrete socio-politico-economic claims – the nature of the uncorrupted society Sphere of the state / public sphere Private sector – responsible economic actors Responsible civil society Benchmarking, reflexive government and cultural responsibilisation Conclusion Conclusion Bibliography

 

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