The Role of National Parliaments in Curbing Corruption

This project addressed the scarcity of research at the country level on the impact of parliamentary oversight on curbing corruption.

It is widely recognized that corruption hinders development. Over the past decade, a growing body of research at the global and regional levels, including by members of this project’s research team, has demonstrated that parliamentary oversight is an important determinant of corruption and that effective oversight of public expenditure is an essential component of national anti-corruption strategies and programs. However, little research had been undertaken at the country level regarding how parliamentary oversight is undertaken, which oversight mechanisms are effective or on how national parliaments interact with other anti-corruption stakeholders.  

This project addressed the gap in our knowledge and, especially, developed practical policy advice for parliaments themselves and for anti-corruption assistance agencies such as the World Bank and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development. Using and updating our existing database, we undertook new large scale, quantitative analyses to identify the mechanisms through which institutional arrangements impact on corruption and then developed a case-study framework aimed at empirically verifying the working of these mechanisms. Countries examined were: Ghana, Grenada, Myanmar Nigeria, Tanzania, Trinidad & Tobago, and Uganda.  

In addition to the country case studies, the project also examined two cross-cutting issues: the motivation and political will of MPs to perform oversight, and knowledge asymmetry, social trust and the implications for oversight.  

(Funded by a British Academy Grant) 

Principal Outputs 

“Anti-Corruption Evidence: The Role of Parliaments in Curbing Corruption” 2019. (eds. Rick Stapenhurst, Rasheed Draman, Brooke Larson, and Anthony Staddon), Switzerland: Springer.                                                                                            

“Assessing the Power of the Purse: Developing an Index of Ex-Post Legislative Oversight” (2019). Rick Stapenhurst, Thomas Eboutou and Kerry Jacobs) Journal of Legislative Studies Vol.25, No. 1 pp. 119-142. 

“Parliamentary Oversight and Corruption in the Caribbean: Trinidad & Tobago and Grenada Compared”  2018. Anthony Staddon and Rick Stapenhurst. Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics. Vol. 56, pp.493-522.                        

“Motivation of MPs and Political Will” 2018. Gabrela Thompson, Anthony Staddon and Rick Stapenhurst. Public Integrity. Published online Dec. 17 

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