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Christoph Seidler

Agencies and policies

The performance of bilateral donors in fighting corruption

ISBN: 978-3-8366-6191-1

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Produktart: Buch
Verlag: Diplomica Verlag
Erscheinungsdatum: 06.2008
AuflagenNr.: 1
Seiten: 82
Abb.: 7
Sprache: Englisch
Einband: Paperback


Christoph Seidler's book discusses how bilateral donors perform in fighting corruption. In order to do so, a rationalist perspective is taken. The author argues that donors perform well in fighting corruption when they cooperate - in forming an international regime. Based on three documents of OECD/DAC, possible principles, rules and norms of such a regime are elaborated. By examining policy papers of three bilateral donors (United States Agency for International Development, UK Department for International Development, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), the author seeks to understand if donors' policy papers indeed converge on a normative level. In a second step, the implementation level in the form of aid allocation patterns is examined. The analysis shows a larger degree of coherence on the normative level but only few commonalities on the implementation level as aid allocation patterns of the donors vary considerably. The book concludes that a possible regime is not (yet) in place, even though principles, rules and norms exist. Thus, the bilateral donors' performance in fighting corruption is still suboptimal.


Chapter 3., Towards an AC regime in bilateral DC: The main argument of this book is that donors perform well in fighting corruption when they cooperate. I argue that in this case, they would need to form an international regime to fight corruption in their partner countries and at home in a coordinated way. This would be in their own rational interest as it would secure that their ODA is used as effectively as possible. In this section, I examine if such a regime indeed exists. I start off by briefly explaining the idea of international regimes in general. I then continue to apply this theory to the field of this work. I use KRASNER'S definition of an international regime to show how the recent work of the donor community could be forming the basis of an AC regime in the making. I then continue to describe some basic rules and norms of this developing regime, based on key OECD/DAC documents. However, I do not address the question of compliance. Similar to BUKOWANSKY, I find the proposed regime still too young to judge its effectiveness. SANDHOLTZ and GRAY also do not speak about enforcement aspects in what they call not a regime but the existence of international norms”. A few words on regimes: In trying to theorize about international governance, scholars have developed the concept of international regimes in the late 1970s and early 1980s. These scholars were in fact looking to provide an alternative to neo-realist approaches that dominated IR at that time. Thus, regime theory is distinct from neo-realism on the one hand and liberalism on the other. It can be described as part of a neo-institutionalist world view. One of the basic ideas behind this concept was to understand regimes as something more than temporary arrangements that change with every shift in power or interests”, that is distinct from one-shot agreements on the one hand and international organizations on the other. A first important use of the regime concept was the area of international trade, where scholars sought to explain how the economic institutions formed after World War II could be sustained in a time when the hegemonic USA were temporarily losing power. Later, the concept of regimes has been expanded to areas such as environment, communication and security. In a somewhat classical definition, KRASNER describes regimes as sets of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge in a given area of international relations”. KRASNER further defines principles as beliefs of fact, causation, and rectitude”, norms as standards of behavior defined in terms of rights and obligations”, rules as specific prescriptions or proscriptions for actions” and decision-making procedures as prevailing practices for making and implementing collective choice”. Thus, principles and rules provide the normative framework for regimes, while rules and decision-making procedures provide specific injunctions for appropriate behaviour. KRASNER notes that changes in rules and decision-making procedures are changes within regimes” whereas changes in principles and norms are changes of the regime itself”. Although the definition of regimes has been contested by some scholars, the study of international regimes made an important contribution by supplementing the technical aspects of formal IOs with the norms and rules governing state behavior”. The concept has been broadened and deepened since its first appearance in scholarly literature. The social-constructivist influences on the concept of regimes are particularly important. Constructivist scholars such as RISSE namely attacked one rationalist assumption of the regime theory: the fixed preferences of the actors. Constructivists rather argued that the preferences of the states can indeed be altered by a regime that they are part of. Scholars of the regime theory have responded by including this possibility in their theory. For practical reasons, I assume that in the present case of the developing AC regime, donors’ interests do not necessarily need to be altered by the regime in the short run. I have chosen to treat donors' preferences as fixed, as I understand the AC regime in bilateral DC as something nascent. Thus, the period under review is short enough to assume that the regime has not persisted long enough to alter the preferences of its participants. What could the regime look like? The idea of a developing international anti-corruption regime has been raised in the scholarly literature. While BUKOVANSKY has argued for a regime that is largely based on a moral foundation, I argue in a purely rationalist tradition. This is because it seems to be in the rational interest of the major donors to form a regime on AC in bilateral DC. YOUNG has described three developmental sequences for international regimes. He labels them spontaneous orders”, negotiated orders”, and imposed orders”. In my view, the developing AC regime in bilateral DC that I want describe here is a form of the negotiated orders” that YOUNG describes as conscious efforts to agree on [...] major provisions, explicit consent on the part of individual participants, and formal expression of the results.” More precisely, I understand the developing AC regime in bilateral DC as a partial or piecemeal negotiated order” where many problems [are] to be worked out on the basis of practice and precedent.” The bilateral donors have the rational interest that their ODA is used as effectively as possible. This is the main driver to set up the regime the practical problems are to be solved during the ongoing work. But why was the regime formed in the first place? Again, YOUNG offers an explanation. He argues that leadership is a necessary condition, or a critical determinant of success or failure in the processes of institutional bargaining that dominate efforts to form international regimes”. From the three types of leadership that YOUNG presents – structural, entrepreneurial and intellectual – I find the idea of intellectual leadership most appropriate for the field in question. It is the power of ideas that shape[s] the thinking of the principals in the process of the institutional bargaining.” In terms of leadership, the work of the OCED is important. The organization that is also active in the broader discussion on aid effectiveness pushed for a regulation in the field of AC. I would like to start from KRASNER'S definition to show that an AC regime in bilateral development cooperation is currently forming. Let me start with a theoretical assumption. If there really was a regime in the making, we would need to see the following: a) a distinct problem in the international relations, b) a set of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures”, c) various actors with expectations that converge around these principles, norms, rules, and procedures.

Über den Autor

Christoph Seidler studied International Relations in Dresden, Lausanne, Berlin and Oslo. He received his Master's degree in fall 2007. Currently, he works as a journalist in Berlin.

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