“Call for Paper: Four Fridays for Corruption”

Call for Papers

A Mini Online Workshop Series on

Corruption, Rent-Seeking Behaviour and Informal Practices in Institutional Contexts

every Friday in November 2020

(November 6, 13, 20, 27)

Brought to you by

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 mini-series of online workshops 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
  •  Compliance and the Rule of Law

Application Procedure

Please send a structured abstract (max. 500 words) or a full paper (if available and preferred by the submitters) by 7 September 2020 to G.Schnyder@lboro.ac.uk. The submission should be sent with “Four Fridays for Corruption in the subject line.

Structured abstracts need to adopt the following structure:

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

Research Question/Issue: 2 or 3 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. Researchers submitting structured abstracts will not be treated less favourably than authors submitting full papers.

Please also indicate on your abstract the time zone you will be residing in during November and what your preferred time for the session would be. We will try and accommodate timing requests as best we can.

Authors of accepted submissions will be notified by 28 September 2020.

Workshop Fees

There is no fee for attending the workshop.

Structure of Presentations

Each session will last for two hours. There will be 3 paper presentations of 20 minutes each followed by 5 min comments from the discussant. The remainder will be open discussion and Q&A.

We will decide on the time for the sessions depending on which time zones the presenters are in. Therefore, the precise timing of each Friday session will be announced once the selection of papers has been made.

Since every paper presentation will be assigned a discussant, it is thus important to submit full papers two weeks before each workshop.


For any queries, please contact any of the workshop convenors: Dr Luca Andriani (luca.andriani@bbk.ac.uk), Dr Randolph L Bruno (Randolph.bruno@ucl.ac.uk), Dr Elodie Douarin (e.douarin@ucl.ac.uk), Dr Gerhard Schnyder (G.Schnyder@lboro.ac.uk)