Teaching anti-corruption in the caucasus and black sea region(s)

Thomas Kruessmann


There is hardly a topic in the current transformations that is as central as corruption. Anti-corruption efforts go back to the nineties when globalisation turned the world into a corporate playing field. Since then, a wealth of tools and instruments has been invented, and any student of anti-corruption can be certain to find abundant materials. From a teacher’s perspective, turning these materials into a coherent academic subject is the first challenge.

But anti-corruption is not a subject like any other. If taught properly, it should challenge every student’s moral compass and become a catalyst for the development of professional ethics. Anybody who has ever been forced to pay bribes in a university setting will remember «turning red with shame». Bribing your teacher, as compared to a traffic police or customs officer, seems like the ultimate betrayal of the notion of the intellectual community between scholar/teacher and student, and it throws into doubt the entire system of values and goals that higher education stands for. In its effect, it is as pernicious as doping in sports. And when the shame is overcome, the result will be a graduate who is «street-wise», who is ready to play the game and expect nothing less from his or her colleagues.

Against this background, the purpose of this paper is twofold. It serves as a reflection on the state of anti-corruption efforts in the Black Sea and Caucasus region(s) and suggests a model how electronic resources could become a catalyst in bringing blended learning/teaching on anti-corruption to the region(s). At the same time, it develops the scholarly argument that the «toolkit box approach» favoured by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) is not sufficient to address the root causes of corruption in the region(s). As an alternative and to the extent that it concerns the Black Sea and Caucasus region(s), it is suggested to place anti-corruption more firmly into the context of Europeanisation as part of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and the Eastern Partnership (EaP), in particular. As such, it should be integrally linked to the support of civil society, independent media, independence and integrity of the judiciary, and open government.



teaching anti-corruption; civil society; professional ethic; European Neighbourhood Policy; Eastern Partnership

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