Governance, Ethics, and Corruption (GEC)

Studying the bright side AND the dark side of public governance. The issues that we study broadly concern governance, challenges to sustainable democratic governance, and how to deal with such challenges.

Our research

There is strong public support across countries for good governance that is democratic, efficient, equitable and sustainable. The research group Governance, Ethics, and Corruption (GEC) is interested in how democratic governance can be achieved and upheld, not least in light of the various problems and challenges that currently face politics and public administration in democratic societies. Public governance often require actors from not only politics and administration at various level of government to cooperate to solve various issues and problems but also actors from the private sector. In addition, many issues and decisions straddle nation state borders and involve actors from other countries or international organisations. We study how decisions are made and implemented, and the role of different actors in these processes. Our research is particularly interested in actions in these processes that violate good democratic governance, reasons for these violations, and how to prevent them. This may involve various types of ethics violations, such as corrupt influence, conflicts of interest and political scandals. The research ranges from comparative and statistical studies to case studies of Sweden and other cases, and are mainly made up of three research strands: Swedish and comparative public administration, governance theory and practice, and ethics and corruption. We also integrate this research into the curriculum of courses in the study programmes at bachelor and masters levels at the department of Political Science, and we collaborate with organisations in society.

In our pursuit to gain more knowledge about these issues, we take an interest in questions such as: How does democratic governance work? How is power organised in society, and what is the relationship between authorities and citizens? What decides whether an institution in society functions well or badly? What happens when norms from different spheres of society – like, for instance, the public sector and business – meet in collaborations between different actors? Are women and men investigated in the same way in connection to political scandals? How can ethics and integrity be strengthened within organisations? How can organisations protect themselves against corruption and other unethical behaviour?

The research has received funding from, for instance, the Swedish Research Council, the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences, the Craaford Foundation, Åke Wibergs stiftelse, the European Commission, the Swedish government, and Transparency International. The group collaborates with a number of international researchers that participate actively in joint publications, conferences, courses and programmes, and in applications for research funds.


Researchers we collaborate with

Frank Anechiarico, Maynard Knox Professor of Government and Law, Hamilton College, USA
Tigran Babajan, PhD in Political Science, Svenska kyrkans enhet för forskning och analys and Ersta Sköndal Bräcke University College
Andreas Bergh, Associate Professor in Economics, Lunds University and Research Institute of Industrial Economics
Tobias Bromander, PhD in Political Science, Department of Pedagogy and Learning, Linnaeus University
Marie Eriksson, PhD in History, Department of Social Works, Linnaeus University
Gissur Erlingsson, Associate Professor in Political Science, Linköping University
Paul Heywood, Sir Francis Hill Professor of European Politics, the University of Nottingham, UK
Malin Lennartsson, Associate Professor in History, Department of Cultural Sciences, Linnaeus University
Otto Petersson, PhD in Political Science, The Swedish Police Authority
Lydia Segal, Associate Professor in Business Law and Ethics, Suffolk University, USA
Glenn Sjöstrand, PhD in Sociology, Department of Social Studies, Linnaeus University
Jörgen Ödalen, PhD, Uppsala University