Call for Papers—Symposium: Understanding and Reducing Public Corruption

Globally corruption costs governments and businesses trillions of dollars each year. It distorts public policy objectives and damages trust. This makes for great difficulties for public administration, however scholarly analysis of public corruption is meager, especially in public administration and related fields. This symposium seeks to better understand how corruption affects public administration and how public administration can mitigate corruption.  It is intended to advance research and generate a comprehensive knowledge base on public corruption.

The Panama Papers, released in 2016 by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, as well as the 2016 U.S. presidential election and issues related to the Trump administration’s perceived conflict of interest, favoritism or reduced transparency in various industries and sectors once again stir up concerns about public corruption in democratic societies. Such concerns urge us to study corruption in the new era, in which corruption has evolved into a more complex sociopolitical phenomenon.  

We invite a broad range of manuscripts that promote interdisciplinary dialogues, practical relevance, innovative methodology or international comparison in corruption studies. Scholars and practitioners from various disciplines and from around the world are encouraged to submit their work to this forum. In particular, we welcome theoretical, empirical, and practically relevant research papers that contain, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Conceptualization of public corruption that integrates perspectives from multiple disciplines, such as public administration, public policy, political science, management science, sociology, economics, criminal justice, psychology, anthropology, etc.
  • Features of public corruption in the new era related to the use of new information technology, complicated organizational design or public-private partnerships; and the challenges for corruption detection and anticorruption institutions in the new era.
  • The role of public participation, nonprofit organizations and civil society organizations in corruption detection and in anticorruption movement.
  • Innovative approaches to measuring corruption at different governmental and organizational levels, such as “big-data” approach, lab or field experiments or qualitative tools seeking micro-level evidence through an ethnographic approach.
  • Examination of anti-corruption strategies targeting different forms of public corruption, including bribery, kickbacks, embezzlement, fraud, extortion, patronage, nepotism, cronyism, conflicts of interest and state capture.
  • Comprehensive literature review that systematically assesses the body of existing theory and empirical research, or meta-analysis based on empirical studies in public corruption.
  • Comparative studies of anti-corruption strategies that may examine the mechanisms for certain anti-corruption initiatives to work or not to work in different social and political contexts, or comparative studies that provide lessons learned from other countries.
Manuscripts are due by Nov. 1, 2017, to Yahong Zhang ( and David Jancsics ( After initial screening, authors of selected manuscripts will be invited to submit directly to the Public Administration Review (PAR) online site for double-blind review, with final decisions regarding publication being made by PAR’s editors. All authors should comply with PAR’s style guidelines.

Guest Editors

  • Yahong Zhang, Associate Professor in School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA), Director of Rutgers Institute on Anti-Corruption Studies (RIACS) at Rutgers University in Newark. Her research focuses on the politics-administration dichotomy, citizen participation and anticorruption. She is the editor of Government Anti-Corruption Strategies: A Cross-Cultural Perspective, published by Taylor & Francis in 2015.
  • David Jancsics, Post-Doctoral Associate, School of Public Affairs and Administration, Rutgers University in Newark (Assistant Professor, School of Public Affairs, San Diego State University, beginning date: Sept. 2017). His research focuses on corruption, organizational wrongdoing and informal practices. In 2014 his co-authored paper, “The Role of Power in Organizational Corruption”, was selected as the winner of the Best Article Award of the Public and Nonprofit Division of the Academy of Management.
  • Adam Graycar is Professor of Public Policy at Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia.  He has held senior academic positions at the Australian National University and at Rutgers University.  He spent 22 years as a government official (Federal and State) in Australia.  His latest book is Understanding and Preventing Corruption (with Tim Prenzler) Palgrave Macmillan, NY, 2013.