Uncategorized

E-participation does not necessarily lead to less corruption: Highlights from the Master’s

Today, the first summary of findings offered, is based on a Master’s thesis just defended in our institute, by Nina Straathof. The thesis asks the question whether internet use by governments, in the form of e-participation initiatives, contributes to reduction of corruption. The research uses the United Nations index for e-participation to define (changing) levels of e-government and World Bank good governance indicators (control of corruption) to establish changes in levels of corruption. The relationship between these two should not be expected to be straightforward  as the thesis established based on a review of existing literature. Where systems of corruption are linked to political rent seeking, e-participation initiatives are not necessarily contributing to reduction of corruption (Bussell, 2011). Therefore, the student expected that internet use and internet censorship would also matter – if internet is censored, citizens cannot act as government watchdogs.

egov1
Figure 1. E-participation and corruption control for different values of internet use

Conducting several different analyses to establish the relationship between e-government, internet use (World Bank development indicators) and corruption, including various control variables such as GDP and human capital, the author finds that internet use matters more and more for control of corruption, especially in the last ten years. Changes in internet use were found to correlate positively with changes in control of corruption. E-participation, on the other hand, was found to have a negative relationship with control of corruption, especially in countries with low levels of internet use. In other words, internet use was crucial and found to moderate the relationship between e-participation and control of corruption. The last finding in particular is interesting and should be explored further. Does it mean that e-participation and e-services have nothing to do with control of corruption or that, when internet use is low, they somehow become another way of excluding large parts of the public and therefore contribute to perceptions of corruption?

egov2
Figure 2. Internet use and corruption control for different values of Freedom on the Net

About these ads

2 thoughts on “E-participation does not necessarily lead to less corruption: Highlights from the Master’s

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s