Last summer UCLA Professor Miriam Golden and I did a radio interview on political corruption for a program called The Scholars’ Circle, hosted by Maria Armoudian. I just learned that a recording of the program is available online, and I thought it might be of interest to some readers of this blog. The recording can be found here; the discussion about corruption begins at 17:16.
The relatively brief but wide-ranging discussion, skillfully moderated by Ms. Armoudian, touches on five major issues (issues that we’ve also covered on this blog):
- How should we define corruption, and how can we try to measure it? (at 18:11-26:31 on the recording)
- Possible factors that might contribute to the level of corruption, including economic development, governance systems (democracy v. autocracy), social norms, and culture (26:32-32:41)
- Whether and how countries can make the transition from a state of endemic corruption to a state of manageable/limited corruption—as well as the risk of backsliding (32:52-47:32)
- What will the impact of the Trump Administration be on corruption, and on norms of integrity and the rule of law, in the United States? (47:42-52:02)
- What are some of the main remedies that can help make a system less corrupt? (52:03-56:34)
There’s obviously a limit to how deep one can go in a format like this, and the program is geared toward a non-specialist audience, but I hope some readers find the conversation useful in stimulating more thinking on the topics we covered. Thanks for listening!