CUSP - Critically Urgent Societal Problems
The 1st CUSP Lecture

Welcome to the 1st CUSP Lecture

presents his new book.
Friday, 4 June 2021, at 3.15 – 4.30 p.m CEST

Controlling Corruption: The Social Contract Approach
Since the late 1990s, the detrimental effects of corruption on human well-being have become well established
in research. This has resulted in a stark increase in anti-corruption programs launched by international and
national development organizations. Despite these efforts, evaluations of the effects of these anti-corruption
programs have been disappointing.

The argument in this book is that this huge policy failure can be explained by three factors. Firstly, the corruption
problem has been poorly conceptualized. Secondly, the problem has been located in the wrong social spaces. It is
neither a cultural nor a legal problem. Instead, it is for the most part located in what organization theory defines
as the ’standard operating procedures’ in social organizations. Thirdly, the general theory that has dominated anti-
corruption efforts — the principal-agent theory — is based on serious misspecification of the basic nature of the
problem. The book presents a reconceptualization of corruption and a new theory — drawing on the tradition of
the social contract.

Bo Rothstein holds the August Röhss Chair in Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and is co-founder
of the Quality of Government (QoG) Institute at this department. During 2016 and 2017 he served as Professor of Government and Public Policy at the University of Oxford – Nuffield College. He has been a Visiting Scholar at the
Russell Sage Foundation, Harvard University, University of Washington-Seattle, Cornell University, the Australian
National University and Stanford University. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and the
Royal Society of Arts and Sciences. Among his publications are Making Sense of Corruption (together with Aiysha
Varraich, Cambridge University Press 2017), The Quality of Government (University of Chicago Press 2011), and
Social Traps and the Problem of Trust (Cambridge University Press 2005). His latest book, titled Controlling Cor-
ruption: The Social Contract Approach,
was published by Oxford University Press in March 2021.

Webinar: Register below to receive the Zoom link and instructions on how to ask questions.
Download the flyer here >> (PDF)

The CUSP Lecture Series is a collaboration between the Swedish Collegium for Advanced Study (SCAS) and
the Institute for Futures Studies (IFFS).