Corruption & Integrity in the Netherlands (1945 - present)
Corruption, integrity (or a lack thereof…) and public values are near omnipresent elements in public administration and politics of all times and cases of corrupt public officials and politicians continuously emerge. Strangely enough, however, it often remains unknown what actually occurred, how something could have happened, why certain behavior was deemed (in)appropriate, what the sanction was and what was done to prevent similar occurrences in the future. As a consequence it also remains largely unknown what ideas on right and wrong public official behavior (i.e. corruption) existed over time, which public values are important in defining corrupt behavior and when and why both values and ideas on corruption change over time.
Aims of the project
In this project, under the heading of the Center for Public Values & Ethics and together with groups of students from the Leiden University Public Administration Msc. program, we collect, describe and analyze scandals revolving around (supposed) acts of corruption and lacking integrity from the Netherlands between 1945 and the present. This provides many answers to aforementioned questions and opens the door for future research.
The project serves three main purposes:
- More in-depth knowledge of debates surrounding (supposed) political corruption in the Netherlands helps us better understand what corruption is, which forms it can take, what consequences it has and what can be done to stop or prevent it. As such, the project and its database inform crucial areas of public administration: policy making, organization, public management and ethics.
- More in-depth knowledge of debates surrounding (supposed) political corruption tells us why certain forms of public official behavior are accepted or not. It offers crucial information to understand past and present morality, public value systems and ideas on public integrity. Essentially, understanding corruption and debates on integrity tells us what is or is not expected of public officials in specific but also of government and its officials in general. It allows for a deeper understanding of past and present moral foundations of government and administration.
- A longitudinal perspective on (supposed) instances of political corruption over a longer period of time allows us to assess any changes in ideas on corruption and public integrity. As such, the project responds to a general lack of systematic, comparative research (especially in the case of the Netherlands) into political corruption over the past six decades.
A database for future research
Scandals surrounding (supposed) political corruption and lacking intergrity are part of a database, to be found in this VRE. The database provides input for the development of methodology for research on political corruption and public integrity and is of use for teaching and further research on the (changing) normative foundations of government. Access to the overview of the database is open to all and can be found under the “Case Index” button. Under "Case Search" various filter options can be used to search the database. Access to the full case descriptions themselves is, however, restricted to those with access privileges. For access, please contact us!
Thanks are due to all contributors to this database, in particular the Leiden University Public Administration master students who did much research and writing for the case-studies. These were (in no particular order): Thomas Möhring, Arne Langendoen, Claire Bakker, Jurre Terhorst, Lisanne Doedens, Annika Duut van Goor, Jerry Snellink, Mart Keuning, Nils Martens, Rajni Ghiraw, Nana Zhang, Rivka Miedema, Simone de Ruijter, Vivian Wildeboer. Also: Jan Jouke Tjalsma from the Leiden University Library gave technical support. Our student-assistant Lance Gillissen worked hard on the overall improvement of cases, database and website. We also acknowledge financial support from the Leiden University Library and from the Leiden Teachers' Academy.
For remaining questions regarding the project, please contact Dr. P. (Patrick) Overeem and/or Dr. A.D.N. (Toon) Kerkhoff