How Good Governance Becomes the Last Stage of Democratic Revolutions

Two of the most memorable quotes about political corruption, “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws”, by Tacitus, and “Corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad”, by Kissinger, describe the same societal illness, but have about two millennia in between. In spite of an international, tech-enhanced, multi-million dollar industry committed to fighting the cancer of democracy, 25 years after the fall of the iron curtain the cost of corruption in Europe is “probably much higher” than 120bn Euros, a study of the European Commission concluded. Countries such as Bulgaria, Romania and Italy are particularly affected by organised crime, and white-collar crimes like bribery can be found all across the EU. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi is a political scientist, journalist and founder of the Romanian Academic Society, the longest-standing active think tank to promote good governance in Romania. As Director of the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building, she advises the European Commission and World Bank in the struggle against corruption. At Falling Walls she explains how her research project ANTICORRP at the Hertie School of Governance, funded by the largest social sciences’ grant (€10 million) in the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program, studies the factors behind effective anti-corruption policies and impartial government institutions in Europe and elsewhere.

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi teaches Democratisation and Policy Analysis at the Hertie School of Governance since 2007. She studied political science at Harvard University after completing a PhD in Social Psychology in 1995 at the University of Iasi in Romania. She chairs the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State Building Research and co-directs the EU FP7 five-year research project ANTICORRP. She constantly serves as an adviser on issues of governance measurement and anticorruption to the European Commission, UNDP, Freedom House, NORAD and World Bank, among others. She was a Visiting Scholar at Harvard, Stanford, the European University Institute and St. Antony’s College of Oxford University, among others. In 1996 she founded the think tank Romanian Academic Society, which has since played an important role in promoting good governance in Romania, and inspired and advised many civil society anti-corruption coalitions in other countries. Her research interests are in the area of Europeanization, state building, institutional transformation, and development of modern governance.

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