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

Call for papers

Session 1 Integrity in Government (1)

Explaining improvements in public ethics: shifting orders of worth in integrity systems

James Downe - downej@cardiff.ac.uk - Cardiff Business SChool - United Kingdom

Richard Cowell - cowellrj@cardiff.ac.uk - Cardiff University - United Kingdom

While the factors associated with high levels of integrity have received significant attention, there is little empirical research that explains how improvements in ethical conduct are achieved in practice. Research tends to focus on how changes to governance practices ‘deliver’ ethical conduct, downplaying situations in which issues arise, and neglecting the ways in which modes and objects of (ethics) government co-evolve over time. To address these gaps, this article uses Boltanski and Thévenot’s (2006) theory of ‘orders of worth’ to examine the effects of the ‘ethical framework’ on the conduct of politicians in English local government. The paper neatly fits within one of the panel’s themes of assessing the quality of integrity systems and attempting to assess ‘what really works in what context’. The study finds that changes in personnel and practice were important factors in conduct improvements and that the ethical framework was used less frequently, as actors questioned its’ efficacy as a way of testing the rightness of actions. Problems at local level were translated into institutional changes that left some categories of misconduct by politicians to be judged at the ballot box.


Boltanski, Luc, and Laurent Thévenot. 2006. On Justification: Economies of Worth. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.



Fault-tolerant or corruption-tolerant? An incentive strategy with potential risk of corruption

Lijing Yang - lijingyanguva@hotmail.com - Sun Yat-sen University - China

Wang Rui - amber182@163.com - Sun Yat-sen University Department of Public Administration - China

With persistent efforts on anticorruption that Chinese government has make, particularly in recent 5 years, all levels of government, public civil servants and officials experience the ‘high pressure’ of anticorruption actions. Severe punishments cause more self-discipline and cautiousness on the one hand, on the other hand, civil servants are less incented and more reluctant to work hard or innovatively. Instead, they are trying not to make any fault by individual or collective inaction, even worse, seeking strategy to avoid blaming or hide corruption. The Fault-tolerant policy is an example of strategy with good purpose but possible bad consequence.

This study first analyzes the background and the necessary of Fault-tolerant policy in China nowadays. Based on the survey we did in a municipal district G, this paper will show the procedure to make fault-tolerant policy, the concerns, the reasons, the clauses and items, etc. We also investigate existing relevant regulations or policies on fault-tolerance in different regions of China. Through the empirical survey, we discuss why and how local governments and civil servants are now tending to seek blaming avoidance, and specifically the risk of more deliberate corruption that the Fault-tolerant policy may take. The paper ends with a brief propose on problems and issues that local government should solve to maximize the prospective effect.

The unhurried implementation of good governance practices in Cameroon: implications for governmental legitimacy

Suh I Fru Norbert - suh042005@yahoo.co.uk - CERDAP-FSJP, University of Yaounde II-Soa - Cameroon

The adoption of a policy is significantly different from the implementation of that policy. Govermental structures such as the parliarment, the executive and the judiciary may adopt, ratify and rule out on a decision respectively, but it may take an unreasonable time to implement the decision. That seems to be the fate of good governance in most developing States of Africa. Indeed, stakeholders of the governance discourse agree that the principles of governance are indeed good but the implementation still raises serious questions about the willingly of governmental elites to stand for good governance. Governments nowadays are (reluctant) kin to effectively implement agreed-upon governance policies. Often times, they adopt a gradual process and even selected implementation of governance practices. Why it is so and what are the implications for governmental legitimacy are the two questions this paper seeks to address. Why is it that agreed-upon good governance policies are hard to implement? Why do they not take immediate effect after being adopted, ratified, or ruled out? Why is good governance oscillating between rhetoric and reality? Why is good governance oscillating between official validity and practical invalidity? Why do governments adopt cosmetic and gradual measures in their efforts to implement good governance?

The main argument is that good governance has become a politically charged concept that is void of any substantial coerciveness. The gradual, reluctant or cosmetic implementation of GG is accounted for by the fact that as a concept, GG is still very much in its discursive phase. GG has not sufficiently mobilised resources for its effective and unconditional implementation. The politicisation of the GG overrides its practical desirability. This has not been without consequences given that the failures or reluctance to effectively implement GG has weakened or reduced the legitimacy of governments. It reveals the extent to which governments are failing to live up to the expectation of people.

The paper uses the example of Cameroon constitution in its article 66 which talks of the declaration of asset of government officials. Enshrined the constitution since 1996, article 66 requires all governmental officials to declare their asset before and after office, as a measure of transparency and the fight against corruption/illicit enrichment. Unfortunately, 20 years after, Article 66 has remained only in principle. The implication is that governments have come to be perceived as mistrusted bodies.

Building integrity where corruption is not seen as a major problem

Adam Graycar - adam.graycar@flinders.edu.au - Flinders University - Australia

Citizens in rich countries often express high levels of perceived corruption, yet they report very little personal experience with corruption in any form.  However the level of outrage for minor transgressions is often very great, and this causes problems in the public sector.


Corruption in rich countries is different to corruption in poor countries, yet it poses serious issues for public administration.  This paper outlines how integrity can be built in organisations in low corruption countries.  It builds on a crime prevention model, and applies this to a low corruption environment.

Session 2 Integrity in Government (2)

Content, Cause and Effect of Corruption: Base on the Data of GuiZhou Province From 2010 To 2015

QiuJu Yang - yqj77@163.com - ShangHai LiXin University of accounting and Fiance - China

Li Xiang - lixiang9242@sina.com - ShangHai LiXin University of accounting and Fiance - China

  China central and local government have struck out corruption severely since from Eighteen Chinese Communist Party, the trend of corruption has been effectively curbed. However, there are two distinct views in the civil society. One view is wholehearted support, anti-corruption enhance the people's confidence in the party and the country. The other view is that corruption is a lubricant of the economy, anti-corruption affects economic development.

   How to treat corruption exactly? With the consideration of this question, we choose to study from the perspective of regional corruption. There are often different characteristics of corruption because of different region. From the existing literature, there is a lack of research about the governance of corruption in the underdeveloped areas.     

   Under the background, this study try to answer three questions: 1. What kind of negative impact and outcome of regional corruption are on the political, economic and social in the region? 2. What are the content and features of corruption in underdeveloped areas? 3. What are the causes of corruption in the region? The answer will provide theoretical support for effective anti-corruption system, achieve “an antidote against the disease”, so as to realize the goal of good governance.                                                                                                                                              

   This study chooses the case and the data from 2010-2015 provided by GuiZhou provincial procuratorate anti-corruption center as subject. We have an empirical analysis about the amount of corruption money, the main field and the consequences of corruption in all levels of the leading cadres. We discuss the inherent regularity of corruption generation and evolution base on the qualitative analysis of the existing data and the quantitative data mining.

   The significance and value of the study are mainly embodied in three aspects: First, GuiZhou province is located in southwest of China, it is an underdeveloped area with minority population. At present, there are few empirical studies about the corruption of a region (especially in underdeveloped regions) in China. We can find out the commonness and characteristic of the corruption in the region through the research. Second, it has a theory value that we can find out the content, the mechanism of the corruption and the output of "bad governance" through the data, the stage of descriptive empirical study. Third, it has a practical significance that we propose anti-corruption institutions with regional characteristics according to the empirical results.

Negotiating integrity: A comparative study of the public discussion and internal management of referee incidents in professional and amateur football in the Netherlands

Kim Loyens - k.m.loyens@uu.nl - Utrecht University - Netherlands

Dr. Kim Loyens, Dr. Leonie Heres, Dr. Frank van Eekeren and Dr. Inge Claringbould


There is broad societal consensus that 'integrity' is crucial for sports and its governing bodies on all levels. Next to contributing to citizens' physical health, sports also functions as an arena where moral values linked to 'sportsmanship' – including honesty, fair play, doing one's best and teamwork – are developed, taught and practiced (USADA, 2012). Trust in the integrity of athletes, arbiters and sports organisations is thus crucial for sports to fulfill its societal function. Yet, recent scandals and their media coverage have raised serious questions about the integrity of sports and sports organizations in both professional and amateur sports (Forster, 2015; Hover, Dijk, Breedveld & van Eekeren, 2016; Henne, 2015). The use of doping and match-fixing in (inter)national competitions appear to be common practice (Cleret, McNamee & Page, 2015). While formal codes and procedures are essential safeguards to enhance the integrity of sports (organisations) (Geeraert, 2015), they are not sufficient to prevent integrity violations, as the recurring incidents even in formally well governed organisations as the FIFA suggest (Henne, 2015). One explanation could be found in the current ethics policies not being sufficiently embedded in and supported by the moral culture of sports organisations.


To date, both research (e.g., Sport Governance Observer) and practice (e.g., FIFA, KNVB and others) have focused almost exclusively on the ‘hardware’ of the ethics infrastructure, emphasizing necessary measures in the integrity structure, procedures, codes, regulations, monitoring and sanctions. By its very nature, however, integrity is a dynamic, socially constructed concept that is defined through continued interaction, dialogue and negotiation in media and multi-media discourses (Cleret, McNamee & Page, 2015). What ‘integrity’ means depends upon the cultural practices of stakeholders in specific contexts (Huberts, 2014). Within the context of commercialized sports such as football, particular conditions of both the sport itself (pressure to achieve under extreme conditions; high media attention; emotionally connected audiences) and of sports organisations (private organisations with extensive public impact) seem to foster a culture with a unique understanding of integrity that is different from accountable institutions of public law (Forster, 2015).


The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the unique attributes of integrity within sports and sports organisations, thereby enabling better tailored and more effective recommendations for practice. The main research question is: “How does the discursive construction of integrity take place within the context of football in the Netherlands?” To answer this question, we investigate (i) when, how, and why an 'incident' of umpirage becomes an 'integrity issue', (ii) how the integrity issue is covered by (social) media, and (iii) how the issue is understood and dealt with by the (management of the) sports organisation(s) at the local, regional or national level, especially as it relates to creating and safeguarding a 'culture of integrity' within sports and sports organisations. Two case studies will be conducted – including one case at the professional and one at the amateur level – by means of interviews and documentary analysis.

Why does South Korea need a “bridge over troubled water”?

JI SUN KANG - 1212kjs@korea.ac.kr - Korea University - Korea, (South) Republic of

Heungsuk Choi - hschoi@korea.ac.kr - Department of Public Administration, Korea University - Korea, (South) Republic of

South Korea is a “nation in trouble.” South Korean parliament voted overwhelmingly to impeach President Park Geun-hye and the anti-Park candlelight demonstrations that call for her to step down have become fiercer. The term, “good governance” and “bad governance” can be relevantly used in arguing the current South Korean government. This paper seeks to provide a general overview of President Park Geun-hye government with regard to the so-called “Choi Soon-sil gate,” the corruption scandal involving President Park’s close confidant. The main objective of this study is to identify the characteristics of governance in Park government facing the Choi-gate scandal in terms of key elements that make up good governance noted by previous research including the World Bank and the UNDP(United Nations Development Programme). This leads to research question on the content and causes of corruption and other integrity violation and offers answers to the question through the lenses of several theories such as bureaucracy theory, agency theory, rent-seeking theory, and power theory. Also, this article analyzes a set of consequences of the characteristics of governance in Park government focusing on its effects and outcomes in political, economic, social, and cultural dimensions as well as public administration. In order to describe the governance of President Park government, extensive data from a variety of news reports, hearings of president’s impeachment trial at the Constitutional Court, parliamentary hearings on the Choi-gate, and government documents are employed. As a result, analysis on the Choi-gate scandal raises some critical thoughts on both importance and difficulties of designing and managing good governance. This study can shed light on the direction of South Korean government aiming to improve the quality of governance(organization and process of policy-making and implementation) in the future.


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