This module is a resource for lecturers  




As one of the earliest concerns of moral and political discourse - from classical antiquity up to the latest global treaty sponsored by the United Nations - corruption has long blighted human affairs. Its definitions range from moral/religious to economic, political and legal. Its effects are wide-ranging: corruption has been found to distort human judgment, warp the organizational cultures of business and government institutions, undermine economic and political development, increase poverty, compromise human rights, corrode the integrity of economic and political systems, cause extreme inequalities, destroy public confidence in government and markets, and undercut environmental protection and climate change policies. This Module provides an overview of the varied definitions and devastating effects of corruption. It reviews different understandings of corruption, and analyses various approaches to measuring corruption. In conveying the "big picture", this Module explains why corruption is a fundamental problem for all nations and all people - perhaps even one of the greatest challenges of the twenty-first century. A variety of perspectives and exercises are employed to build the confidence and capacity of students to engage with this fascinating and urgent area of inquiry, and to enable young leaders to design and generate solutions that address both root causes and systemic challenges. At a core level, the Module illuminates how corruption is intimately connected to issues of integrity and ethics, such as those explored in more detail in the E4J University Module Series on Integrity and Ethics.


Learning outcomes

  • Understand why the definition of corruption varies across social and historical contexts and why there is no agreed upon universal definition
  • Describe the relationship between corruption and pressing global problems
  • Identify and assess different approaches to measuring corruption
  • Assess own initial orientation to corruption and critically examine it in light of a variety of readings and exercises
  • Reflect on personal anti-corruption goals
Next: Key issues
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