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Public Policy Analysis: Anticorruption


Admission requirements

Either Introduction to Comparative Politics or Comparative Party Systems would be advisable prerequisites, but they are not mandatory. If you have any questions please contact the course instructor directly.


Anti-corruption policies have received extensive attention in the media, public policy circles, international organizations and the academia over the past two decades. Various international actors like the European Union, the World Bank and the IMF have devoted significant resources to promoting various types of policy responses to counter political or bureaucratic corruption. In most of the specialized policy circles and literature, anti-corruption strategies have therefore become an integral part of issues belonging to the quality of governance or economic development.

As a result of these international trends, countries around the world have incorporated anti-corruption policies and mechanisms to various degrees, while embedding them through a broad array of institutional set-ups in their existing institutional design. The goal of this course is to pursue the most relevant questions pertaining to anti-corruption policies in a theoretically and empirically rigorous manner. To this end, it will seek to engage students with the following questions: what does “efficiency” mean in respect to anti-corruption policies?; what are the factors influencing what type of anti-corruption strategy a country adopts?; what explains the saliency or success of anti-corruption policies?; how do anti-corruption policies interact with existing national policy environments?

The course will link policy analysis with elements of institutional design and it will also often contrast the challenges of designing anti-corruption policy with other types of public policies. In the process students will also become exposed to the key theoretical and empirical issues in the study of political corruption and they will have the opportunity to conduct an empirically driven policy lab project.

Course Objectives


  • Engage in the critical reading and analysis of specialized scholarly literature on political corruption and anticorruption;

  • Develop exposure to measurement issues of empirical data;

  • Practice various types of academic writing for both scholarly and non-scholarly audiences;

  • Practice the ability to engage in successful teamwork and collaborate with peers on a common policy lab project;

  • Practice the ability to both provide and incorporate peer feedback on written work.


  • Understand the complexities involved in the process of conceptualizing, defining and measuring political corruption;

  • Identify the main economic, social, cultural and institutional determinants of political corruption;

  • Evaluate the societal consequences of corruption and the complex interactions between this phenomenon and specific aspects of the quality of governance or economic development;

  • Characterize the micro-foundational challenges of designing effective anti-corruption policy.

  • Analyze public policy through the applied lens of anti-corruption policies;

  • Utilize theoretical and empirical tools to design, analyze and evaluate the political and social context of public policies.


Timetables for courses offered at Leiden University College in 2020-2021 will be published on this page of the e-Prospectus.

Mode of instruction

Class sessions will be primarily structured in a seminar format, with presentations by the instructor when necessary. Interactive group work and exercises will form an integral part of classroom activities.

Assessment Method

Discussion leader - 10% - all weeks
Individual reflection (2x15%) – all weeks
Critical book review 25% - week 6
Individual Policy Brief Project – 35% - week 8

Reading list

The reading material for this course will mostly consist of academic articles published in scholarly journals and available through the Leiden library. A full reading list will be included in the course syllabus. In case students need to acquire a book for the course, they will be notified by the course instructor in due time before the course starts.


Courses offered at Leiden University College (LUC) are usually only open to LUC students and LUC exchange students. Leiden University students who participate in one of the university’s Honours tracks or programmes may register for one LUC course, if availability permits. Registration is coordinated by the Education Coordinator,


Dr. Diana Branduse,
Dr. Ayo Adedokun,