Launch event for the book 'Norms, Gender and Corruption - Understanding the Nexus'


Ortrun Merkle and Ina Kubbe (the editors of the book), UNU-MERIT and Tel Aviv University

Event background / description

Corruption scandals like the Paradise Papers show clearly that powerful men are much more likely to be the beneficiaries of large-scale corruption than women. At the same time, women are often hit the hardest by the direct and indirect consequences of corruption. However, this should not automatically lead us towards an over-simplistic view of gender disparity within the world of corruption (i.e., seeing men as more corrupt and women as victims).

Rather than being based on inherent gender differences or differences in the morality of men and women, discrepancies in access to corrupt opportunities are largely based on the question of who has access to powerful positions. Furthermore, the question of who is most impacted by corruption is largely determined by the different roles men and women have in society. While women frequently encounter corruption in public services such as health or education, men are often disproportionately affected by police corruption. So if the easy explanation of ‘men are corrupt and women suffer from corruption’ is not true, what then explains the gendered differences regarding people’s participation in and experiences of corruption?

In our new edited volume “Norms, Gender and Corruption – Understanding the Nexus” we show that to truly understand how gender and corruption are related, it is important to take a closer look at formal and informal norms. While often implicitly discussed, the question of how (gender) norms shape the ways in which women and men experience and participate in corruption differently has received surprisingly little attention. Our contributors discuss in more detail the different ways in which norms determine who can participate in corruption, who is affected by it, and which forms of corruption an individual encounters. 

Our contributors show the immense value of including a more nuanced understanding of societal norms in any discussion on gender and corruption, not only in an academic setting but especially in the policy world. 


We will discuss the importance of including a norms perspective in our discussions on gender and corruption, together with our speakers: 
Elin Bjarnegård (Uppsala University)
Justa Mwangi (Kenyatta University) 
Jennifer Sarvary Bradford (UNODC) 
Laura Nyirinkindi (Ugandan Association of Women’s Lawyers)

Please register here. We look forward to seeing you all there!



Venue: Online (Zoom)

Date: 26 January 2023

Time: 15:00 - 16:30Β Β CET


UNU-MERIT