Corruption, the Rise of Populism, and the Future of Democracy Symposium

Thursday, March 31, 2022 - 8:00am to Saturday, April 2, 2022 - 12:00pm
1117 UCC and online

Co-organized by Associate Professor Marina Zaloznaya, the Corruption, the Rise of Populism, and the Future of Democracy Symposium takes place over three days at the University of Iowa (March 31 - April 2).

In recent decades, corruption has emerged as a powerful call to arms: from the Arab Spring in the Middle East, to the Occupy Movement in the United States and the Color Revolutions in Eastern Europe, grassroots anti-corruption protests have swept across the globe, destabilizing many non-democratic regimes and threatening others.

Despite the initial enthusiasm of the international community, however, this surge had an unexpected side effect of helping autocratic-leaning populist politicians ascend to power in countries as diverse as Brazil, Hungary, Turkey, Russia, and the United States. Populist leaders often position themselves as outsiders to the established systems of power where corruption is, allegedly, entrenched. In recent years, a number of right-wing strongmen came to power on the promise of cleaning up the government and undoing the corruption schemes of the incumbents. When in office, many also subvert the anticorruption efforts by selectively targeting the political opposition: claiming ownership over anti-corruptionism allows populist leaders to tighten their hold on power while permitting their allies' corruption to flourish.

This three-day symposium will bring together leading corruption and anti-corruption scholars from across disciplines and geographic areas and engage them in an open dialogue about the challenges that corruption and populism pose to good governance and democracy globally.

All events are free and open to the public. Register here:

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