9) Corruption and Governance
For this practicum, students will work for one of three clients and conduct research on topics concerning corruption and its cousin, governance. Corruption impacts billions of people, often daily. It significantly affects levels of poverty, income inequality, the quality of governance, the availability of life-saving drugs and resources, the growth of political extremism, crime and violence, ethnic and regional conflict, and economic and political development. At the same time, poor governance, poverty, conflict and instability, crime and, some argue, cultural factors, exacerbate corruption. It is no exaggeration to say that for hundreds of millions of people, corruption is literally a matter of life and death. Despite the many adverse consequences of corruption and the attention it has received in the past two decades from academics and policymakers, there are still wide gaps in our understanding of this complex phenomenon, particularly the causes of corruption and how to most effectively combat it.
The specific research topics students will work on include: institution building, access to information, tracking and monitoring public procurement, illicit financial flows, and tax havens. The results and conclusions generated by this research will fill important gaps in our understanding of corruption, the role of the financial system in facilitating corruption, and the effectiveness of specific policy responses to corruption.
Any graduate student may apply for this practicum, but preference will be given to students with a demonstrated interest and expertise in the areas of governance, economics or institutional analysis.
Clients: The three clients for this practicum are the World Bank, Transparency International—USA, and Global Financial Integrity, a highly respected research and advocacy NGO based in Washington, D.C.
Professor: Dan Schneider is an Assistant Professor in the Global Governance, Politics and Security Program. He is a former federal prosecutor, and served as the Department of Justice's Resident Legal Advisor to Russia, and on the Department's Campaign Financing Task Force. He has also consulted for a variety of organizations, such as the World Bank, USAID and the American Bar Association, on issues concerning corruption, governance, and civil society.
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