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University of Pennsylvania


University of Pennsylvania via Coursera


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You can't understand the world today if you don't understand corruption. Every day, we see high-level government officials resigning, governments changing, hundreds of thousands of people standing in squares, holding up signs, and often risking their lives to protest the corruption in the world. It's critically important to the health of our societies to understand what people are protesting against. We want to understand corruption. This course is designed to teach you about what corruption is, what causes corruption, the effects of corruption, and how to control corruption. We'll be talking about this from a global perspective using examples from all over the world. We'll also be talking about corruption from the perspective of countries, governments, businesses, citizens, and the people within these entities. At the end of this course, you'll have a better understanding of why the world is changing according to the path of corruption. If you're in a position to make changes within your respective entity, to make decisions about corruption, you'll be able to make better decisions.


  • Week 1: What is Corruption?
    • Corruption affects us all and millions of people around the world protest against it every day. What is corruption? How do we know it when we see it? This module is designed to give you an understanding of both the definition and the key components of corruption. You’ll learn about the general and legal definitions of corruption, how to measure it using the Corruptions Perceptions Index, examine the history of corruption, and evaluate where corruption takes place in the world. You'll also learn three major theories that attempt to explain the current "Eruption in Corruption" that we are facing today. By the end of this module, you’ll be able to explain what corruption is, how it is measured, the costs of corruption, and how corruption spreads so that you can begin identifying and measuring corruption where it affects you.
  • Week 2: Societal Level Effects
    • In this module, you'll explore the extensive effects of corruption, including its economic, social and psychological costs. You'll learn how corruption leads to the informal creation of parallel institutions, such as loansharking and black markets, and see the role decision makers play in enabling the spread of corruption. You'll also learn how trust is jeopardized, and how this loss of trust inhibits economic and social development. You'll examine the social costs of corruption, including decreases in the quality of infrastructure and in environmental quality, increases in terrorism and infant mortality, and other threats to human security. At the end of this module, you'll be able to outline the comprehensive effects of corruption so that you can determine strategies for addressing them.
  • Week 3: Individual Firm Level Effects
    • This module was designed to help you explore the ethics behind corruption through external and internal relationships. You'll learn about the time and monetary costs of corruption, perspectives on the benefits of bribery, and the characteristics of a strong ethical climate. You'll also learn how to identify indirect costs of corruption, including those that are easy to predict, like fines and settlements, and those which are harder to quantify, such as effects on an individual's reputation. At the end of this module, you'll be able to define corruption as part of a relationship, outline the costs of corruption on those relationships, and categorize the sanctions, both predictable and unpredictable, imposed on corrupt entities.
  • Week 4: Corruption Control
    • In this module, you will learn the main theories about control of corruption. You'll explore whether or not corruption can be controlled. Then, you'll examine the different ways corruption can be controlled: firms, industries, and polities (organized societies). You'll learn about assurance problems, platforms for exchange, and certification programs as some methods of control. You'll look at the steps organized societies have taken to control corruption, including the example of a country that used to have the cleanest government in the world. By the end of this course, you will be able to apply the principles you’ve learned by assessing the work of your peers in a Peer Review assignment. You'll create a Corruption Analysis in which you identify and analyze a real life incident of corruption that has occurred anywhere in the world over the past 12-18 months.

Taught by

Philip Nichols


5.0 rating, based on 3 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 539 ratings

Start your review of Corruption

  • Sinthya Binta Taher
    Corruption is a curse. its effect our daily life, Career ,our society ,and many sides. corrupted person is a not perfect for the environment and society. because corruption hamper any kind of progress. and sometimes its destroy human life. its impor…
  • Linda Saalman
    Short with a strong punch. This class should be required for anyone who wants to understand how democracy and capitalism work in the real world, or how government and businesses relate to one another, or how ethics matter in practice. Bear with the first module, which is a bit low-key, because the remaining three are remarkable, and the supplemental materials are worth reading or viewing. As is typical of my experience with the Coursera platform, the discussion engagement and quality is poor. On the positive side, that let's you complete the course more quickly.
  • Profile image for Muhammad Younas
    Muhammad Younas
    Corruption destroyed our society if we have not stop it then no one will do his work and responsibility without corruption

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