This is an edited and revised version of an interview recorded in September 2021, which served as closing remarks for the 3rd edition of the Research Methods School on Corruption and Anti-Corruption Analysis (CORAN), Institute of Social Sciences, University of Lisbon (Portugal), 27-30 September 2021. The event was organized jointly with the Centre for International Cooperation and Development Studies (IDC) of the University of Bucharest, as part of the 7th edition of the International Interdisciplinary Conference of Political Research SCOPE: Science of Politics. The notes and specific references were added to support especially younger researchers who may not be very familiar with the field or with certain past events.
Keywords: corruption, political corruption, definitions of corruption, corruption studies, court cases, criminal investigations, scandal, methodology, legal protection of scholars, deregulation, super-rich, impact of COVID-19
Although recent studies show widening socio-economic divisions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many such divisions were already identified as social cleavages. Scholars and observers tend to view the world in a dichotomous manner, overgeneralising their analyses along known cleavages. Therefore, the relevance of our work as scholars is at risk and we, the scholars of the contemporary world, are “vulnerable” to the temptation of ignoring the details, nuances, and complexities. The uneven impact of and recovery from the pandemic is not necessarily binary – for example, a refusal to follow the medical consensus (e.g. social distancing, vaccination) can be observed on both sides of many cleavages. Against such a background, this paper first characterises the pandemic as a medical, socio-economic, and information crisis. With the former two “pillars” resembling the known cleavages, the third pillar goes beyond the physical access to information and deals with the people’s perception of various risks. Such a behavioural angle to the vulnerability – labelled “risk literacy” – highlights the phenomenon of “digital divide” and shows a promising feature as an additional analytical tool. By familiarising ourselves with the people’s varying risk perceptions, we increase our own literacy against the risk of overgeneralisation.
Keywords: risk literacy, social cleavages, information crisis, digital divide, risk perception, vulnerability, behavioural analysis, COVID-19, pandemic
In recent decades, we have witnessed the consolidation of the knowledge society, based on a process of globalization, which promotes the consolidation of the knowledge economy as an emerging paradigm, as well as promoting new dynamics of scientific cooperation, especially from the European Union to the rest of the world. Agreements, summits, and a network of science diplomacy have been set up reflecting the impact of knowledge on new development models. From this process, conceived as a catalyst for value chains based on knowledge intensity, it is possible to glimpse new power conflicts related to other recent conflicts for economic and political hegemony on a global scale. This study aims to analyze countries’ behavior vis-à-vis the global threat of the COVID 19 pandemic, based on the correlation between their ability to face it and their levels of knowledge-based development as a differentiating element in terms of vulnerability. The results show a process where scientific cooperation has given way to a field of geopolitical competition between the actors of the international system, affecting their levels of vulnerability to global threats.
Keywords: knowledge economy, globalization, interdependence, Global Knowledge Index, cluster analysis, COVID-19, pandemic
En las últimas décadas, hemos asistido al afianzamiento de la sociedad del conocimiento, a partir de un proceso de globalización, que propicia la consolidación de la economía del conocimiento como paradigma emergente, impulsando nuevas dinámicas de cooperación científica, especialmente desde la Unión Europea, hacia el resto del mundo. Se han configurado acuerdos, cumbres y un entramado de diplomacia científica que refleja el impacto del conocimiento en los nuevos modelos de desarrollo. A partir de dicho proceso, concebido como un catalizador para las cadenas de valor basadas en intensidad de conocimiento, es posible vislumbrar nuevos conflictos de poder relacionados con otros conflictos recientes por la hegemonía económica y política a escala global. Este estudio se propone analizar el comportamiento de los países ante la amenaza global de la pandemia de COVID 19, a partir de la correlación entre su capacidad de enfrentarla, y sus niveles de desarrollo basado en conocimiento, como elemento diferenciador en términos de vulnerabilidad. Los resultados evidencian un proceso donde la cooperación científica ha dado paso a un terreno de competencia geopolítica entre los actores del sistema internacional, impactando en sus niveles de vulnerabilidad ante amenazas globales.
Palabras clave: economía del conocimiento, cooperación científica, globalización, interdependencia, Índice Global de Conocimiento (Global Knowledge Index), análisis de conglomerados, COVID-19, pandemia
Amidst the pandemic resulting in a global health crisis, Bangladesh was unnerved by the fake COVID-19 test result certificates issued by the private Regent Hospital in Dhaka. The healthcare corruption was exposed when Il Messaggero (The Messenger) daily newspaper in Rome reported that infected Bangladeshi migrants were moving undetected throughout the city and were thus a potential health risk. What is the impact of healthcare corruption during a pandemic for the vulnerable people of a developing country in a globalized economy? This article assesses the plight of the Bangladeshi migrant labor force and the ready-made garment sector domestic work force within the framework of vulnerability interdependence, discussing the democratic consolidation context, the environment that led to the issuance of fake healthcare certificates and the potential implications for tackling corruption.
Keywords: corruption, democratization, healthcare, global economy, migrant labour force, COVID-19, Bangladesh, media investigation
This article explores the clash of various narratives around the Gdańsk shipyard, one of the famous examples of a post-industrial heritage site with a significant political past, located in Poland. The analysis is placed within the larger context of contemporary debates on heritage and the specificity of post-industrial sites, showing how vulnerable and fragile foundations such sites may have, as well as how they are susceptible to various manipulations. This study explores the process of construction of heritage sites and their contradictory narratives by referring to one particular aspect of the Polish past and its institutional representation in the form of post-industrial heritage. First, it refers to the contemporary idea of heritage and briefly explains the relation between heritage and memory. It also describes the role of heritage in the tourism industry emphasizing various expectations and demands that are made for memory sites. Then it analyses the idea and specificity of post-industrial heritage as well as the paradox of its universality. Finally, it refers to the Gdańsk shipyard as an example of post-industrial heritage space which serves various demands and visions that reflect a multiplicity of narratives.
Keywords: heritage sites, post-industrial, narrative, Poland, Gdańsk shipyard
Illiberalism recently became a favorite catchphrase of several political actors around the world. Although not necessarily precise, the term conjures alternative understandings of democracy, by contesting the inherent need of a democratic political system to be intimately tied to liberal values. This lack of precision is often instrumentalized to boost popular support for taking measures leading to discrimination and resisting or even fighting pluralism. This text aims to familiarize the reader with the existing conceptual debates surrounding the concept of illiberalism, while also offering a glimpse into the causes responsible for its popularity. Theoretical knowledge is then juxtaposed with information regarding an awareness raising project aiming to fight illiberalism in countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The conclusion stresses the need for communication and education campaigns regarding the perils of illiberalism, especially in the more fragile democratic contexts of post-communist Europe. Citizens need to be aware of how illiberalism endangers democracy and have at their disposal mechanisms for raising awareness regarding illiberal measures taken by various governments.
Keywords: illiberalism, Central and Eastern Europe, post-communism, democracy, awareness-raising project, civil society