Call for Paper One-Day Workshop: Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts

Thursday 11 June 2020

Loughborough University London

Here East – 3 Lesney Avenue

E20 3BS London


Institute for International Management (Loughborough University London)

Centre for Political Economy and Institutional Studies (Birkbeck University of London)

Centre for Comparative Studies of Emerging Economies (University College London)

This one-day WINIR-sponsored workshop aims to bring together researchers from different disciplines to improve our theoretical, empirical and methodological understanding of different aspects of corruption, rent-seeking behaviours, and informal practices within different institutional contexts. 

A general consensus exists that corruption and other forms of rent-seeking behaviour impose tremendous costs on society, because they reduce funds devoted to public goods including safety, social services, and infrastructure. They create economic distortions, lower economic growth, and increase inequality. From the institutional perspective, institutions – as rules and norms able to constrain and shape human interactions (Hodgson 2006; North, 1990) – should minimise these collective action problems by discouraging and penalising rent-seeking behaviours. Within the literature on individuals’ conformity and compliance to rules (broadly defined as social norms), emphasis has been placed on the study of the reasons why institutions designed to contain such behaviours fail to act as expected (Batory 2012). Across different social science disciplines a consensus is emerging that corruption and other forms of rent-seeking behaviours cannot be reduced to a lack of institutional quality.

This workshop aims to provide an ad-hoc research platform to further this debate. We are interested in work that sheds light on corruption and other forms of rent-seeking behaviours within different institutional and socio-cultural contexts from a broad and interdisciplinary perspective. The workshop also aims to explore different aspects of informality, the complementarities existing between informal practices and different forms of institutions, and the relational mechanisms linking informal practices and corruption.

We welcome contributions from different academic disciplines (including, but not limited to, political science, economics, development studies, law, sociology, social psychology, and organisational studies), using different level of analysis (individuals, firms and organisations, sectors, regions, countries, etc.) and different methodologies and techniques (theoretical, empirical, qualitative, quantitative, comparative, etc.).   

Specifically, we invite submission of papers from any relevant discipline addressing issues including but not limited to:

  • Corruption and institutional quality/context
  • Determinants and/or consequences of corruption
  • Citizens’ attitudes towards rent-seeking behaviour
  • Informal practices, formal and informal institutions
  • Informal practices and corruption
  • Informal networks, social norms, and corruption
  • Trust, corruption and institutions
  • Corruption, tax evasion, and tax morale
  • Definitions and concepts of corruption

Keynote speakers

Prof Alena Ledeneva – Professor of Politics and Society, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, UCL

Prof Mushtaq Khan – Professor of Economics, SOAS University of London & Executive Director, Anti-Corruption Evidence Research Consortium

Application Procedure

Please send a structured abstract (max. 500 words) or a full paper (if available and preferred by the submitters) by 1 April 2020 to The submission should be sent with “Corruption Workshop” in the subject line.

Structured abstracts need to adopt the following structure:

Research Type: Conceptual, Theoretical, Empirical or Review (select one)

Research Question/Issue: 1 or 2 sentences presenting the focus of the paper

Method: 2 or 3 sentences clarifying the methodological approach chosen, and data source, if the paper is conceptual/theoretical, please state the main framework your research builds on.

Key Findings/Insights: 2 to 3 sentences explaining the findings or insights derived from your study. This section should highlight the contribution of your work to the broader literature.

Implications: in this section, please state the broader implications of your findings for researchers and/or policy-makers, as appropriate.

Please note that the format of the submission (structured abstract of full paper) will not affect the chances of being accepted. However, structured abstracts are expected to be the main format of submission and researchers submitting structured abstracts will not be treated less favourably than authors submitting full papers.

Authors of accepted submissions will be notified by 21 April 2020.

Workshop Fees

There is no fee for attending the workshop. Participants will be offered lunch, coffee, and snacks during breaks, and are invited to a closing reception with wine and nibbles. Participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation costs.

Structure of Presentations

Every paper presentation will be assigned a discussant. It is thus important to submit full papers two weeks before the workshop, i.e. 28 May 2020.


For any queries, please contact any of the workshop convenors: Dr Luca Andriani (, Dr Randolph L Bruno (, Dr Elodie Douarin (, Dr Gerhard Schnyder (    

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