International Public Management Network (IPMN)

IPMN 2012 Hawaii Conference, 27-29 June, 2012 PDF Print E-mail

"Innovations in Public Management for Combating Corruption"

Honolulu, Hawaii, in partnership with the East West Center


The effort to combat corruption has moved to the center of the debate about improving governance, economic growth and poverty reduction. The impetus behind this move has come from many sources. Increasing flows of aid and foreign investment have increased the temptations for gatekeepers. Donor country fatigue has placed increasing pressure upon foreign assistance agencies to demonstrate that they are delivering maximum value for the money. The negative example of a handful of “kleptocratic” regimes in the Middle East and other regions has underscored the danger of political and social collapse if widespread corruption is allowed to fester unchecked.



The global financial and economic crisis beginning in 2008 was in part precipitated by pent-up structural weaknesses, including a combination of financial market, corporate and governance problems. There was outward tolerance of the deterioration of public/private co-operation into closed circles of influence and privilege. Further, there was obliviousness to the mounting, and largely invisible, economic costs deriving from the lack of transparency and accountability and the shrugging acceptance of corruption. Indeed, there was even a benevolent view of rent-seeking and private collusion as necessary lubricants for the system. The weaknesses were not limited to the government or to lax supervision of the banking system, but included grave problems of corporate governance in the private sector itself, stemming from a lack of transparency and absence of strong competitive checks and balances.

Citizens have served notice that they are no longer willing to tolerate such gross abuses of the public trust for private gain. The liberalization of the press in many countries has enabled journalists to write more freely about official indiscretions. Improvements in education and increased information flow between countries have made their public more aware of anticorruption efforts in other countries and less willing to tolerate systematic abuses at home. The rise of new global nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) dedicated to fighting corruption has helped to bring and keep the issue in the spotlight. Foreign investors are also favoring countries that make concrete progress in their structural reforms.

Against this background, the key research question is whether innovations in public management are helping to reduce levels of corruption. Reforms in financial management, human resources and audit, combined with structural improvements, strengthening of public education, regulatory and oversight functions, and greater transparency all set out to enhance public sector effectiveness and reduce corruption. What is the evidence that this is in fact the case? Are there examples where such reforms have made corruption worse? What needs to be done to improve our success in combating corruption?

The conference is open to all participants who wish to submit proposals. All those selected to present their papers at the conference will be expected to deliver their papers and also to serve as a discussant of another paper. The Program Committee will help to ensure that the best papers are published in top journals, and/or in a conference volume.



Prof. Bidhya Bowornwathana, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

Prof. Alex Brillantes, University of the Philippines Dr. Shabbir Cheema, Director, Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative and Senior Fellow, East-West Center

Dr. Shabbir Cheema, Director, Asia-Pacific Governance and Democracy Initiative and Senior Fellow, East-West Center

Prof. Sung Deuk Hahm, Korea University

Distinguished Prof. Larry Jones, Graduate School of Business and Public Policy, Naval Postgraduate School

Prof. Steve Kelman, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Prof. Alexander Kotchegura, Deputy Head of Department of Public Administration, Russian University of Peoples' Friendship

Prof. Peter Larmour, Professor of Public Administration and Policy, University of the South Pacific

Dr. Peter McCawley, Visiting Fellow, Arndt-Corden Dept of Economics, Australia National University

Prof. Riccardo Mussari, University of Siena, President, IPMN

Prof. Akira Nakamura, Meiji University

Prof. Richard Norman, University of Victoria

Dr. Jon S. T. Quah, Professor of Political Science (emeritus), National University of Singapore, Vice President, Asian Association for Public Administration

Prof. Kuno Schedler, University of St. Gallen

Prof. Fred Thompson, Atkinson Graduate School of Management, Willamette University

Dr. Clay G. Wescott, Director, Asia-Pacific Governance Institute

Prof. Jiannan Wu, Associate Dean, School of Public Policy and Administration, Xi'an Jiaotong University, PRC