T09P18 - Integrity in Government

Topic : Governance, Policy networks and Multi-level Governance

Panel Chair : Adam Graycar - adam.graycar@flinders.edu.au

Objectives and Scientific Relevance of the panel

Objective and scientific relevance
The International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS) Study Group on Quality of Governance aims at enhancing scientific research and insights into this challenging area of study by bringing together scholars and practitioners in sessions on conferences and beyond,
and stimulating publication of presented work. Under the umbrella of ‘Quality of Governance’ the Study Group addresses several topics across different disciplines, and is gradually moving towards a better defined research agenda. The main point of departure is the shift from an emphasis on ethics and integrity to the incorporation of a multitude of values, integrity definitely being one of them, in studying the dynamics and effects of quality of governance frameworks. Surely, questions of how integrity may enhance policy formulation and implementation, and how corruption and misconduct may hinder policy objectives, are still topics of interest and cover a substantial part of what the Study group focuses on. However, questions of different types of values, their mutual relationships, and their effects on the overall quality of governance, including different instruments, policies or systems that are part of efforts to improve governance quality, are key topics we discuss. On the one hand, we aim to stimulate scientific advancement by opening up this sometimes rather normative field to empirical substantiation on a variety of values, diving into how those values are embodied and given shape in different types of policy objectives and instruments, and mapping and categorizing types of effects and conditions of success or failure. On the other hand, we aim to contribute to practical insights by translating findings to concrete policy realities and placing them in societal debates as well. Furthermore, the international character of the group and its participants spurs a truly intercontinental exchange of ideas and research findings, and matches the nature of this conference well (and vice versa).

Call for papers


 Bringing together scholars around the global to exchange ideas, research and spur potential future collaboration in the field of “the quality of governance” (QuGo) is the aim of our Study Group, operating under the flag of the International Institute of Administrative Sciences (IIAS). To that end, we solicit contribution proposals from scholars and practitioners, related to one of the four themes below as much as possible.

Themes of the QuGo Research Agenda
1. Quality of Governance: Bad Governance in Context
A focus on the quality of governance should never deny the importance of research on the lack of quality of governance, including research on the content, causes, effects of corruption and other integrity violations. Research on bad governance can clarify the content of ‘quality of governance’, as well as the conditions and policies that might help to prevent bad and to stimulate good governance. This leads to research questions on ‘what goes wrong’ and why. Another issue to be mentioned concerns the consequences of bad governance for the resulting output and outcome. This connects corruption and integrity violations to the ‘harm done’, not only on the governance process itself (and the consequences for trust in governance) but also to the resulting policies and outcomes.
2. Quality of Governance: Good Governance in Context
An important topic for research concerns how good and bad governance (or the quality of governance) relate to the manifold public values? What values matter in governance (processes) and what is their impact in decision-making and policy-implementation? How do
the values relate to ‘relevant publics’ (e.g., citizens, politics and administration, elite and street-level)? How do we understand ‘good governance’ from the top down and bottom up and internationally? This by definition opens up questions on how to manage conflicts of values. The many relevant values on process as well as policy (and outcome) can seldom be optimized all together and what are then the mechanisms to relate them in decision-making and implementation?
3. Quality of Governance policies, systems, instruments, leadership (process)
Many initiatives to improve the quality of governance exist. These are apparent in, for example, the literature on ‘integrity systems’, including actors involved in protecting public values (e.g., anti-corruption agencies, civil society involvement, judicial actors, ombudsmen,
auditing and oversight divisions, etc.). But how do these actors relate and work, and what really works in what context? An additional issue concerns the relationship of the initiatives towards promoting different types of relevant values. Are different policies and institutions present to promote the moral, democratic, judicial and economy values and how and how successful do they interrelate and
4. Quality of Governance, Democratic Quality, and Quality of Outcomes
How do characteristics of (the) governance (process and organization) relate to the ‘quality’ of ‘input’ and ‘outcome’? This is important to reflect upon in (sub)national contexts, but the (un)intended effects in a broader (international) context are relevant as well.

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