41 research outputs found

    Doping in world sport: the real issue is that we still don’t know who to blame for anti-doping failures

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    The recent scandal surrounding Russian state-sponsored doping highlighted deep rooted issues affecting international anti-doping procedures in sport. Slobodan Tomic argues that the key problem lies in the failure of the current anti-doping regime’s institutional design to specify hierarchies of accountability. To match powers with responsibilities, he suggests that we should avoid framing the reform as a debate over the role of one stakeholder – the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) – and instead consider the wider picture, while clearly defining the role played by individual states

    Long read review: crisis in sports governance: exploring anti-doping policy and other battlegrounds (part one)

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    The world of sport is facing a serious crisis, deepened by a spate of recent controversies such as match-fixing, doping and the abuse of positions in sport organisations for illicit personal gain. Just in the last couple of months we have seen major scandals, including the arrest of high-ranking FIFA officials, the revelation of a state-sponsored doping scheme of Russian athletes and the discovery of unethical practices by sports professionals (including an apparently rigged judging system in boxing at the Rio Olympics). These pose serious challenges to the governance of sport, domestically and internationally. In addition to public debate about an overhaul of the regulation and governance of sport, scholars have had their say. This two-part review focuses on two books written on the subjects of integrity in sports and anti-doping policies: ahead of his review of Anti-Doping: Policy and Governance, here Slobodan Tomic reviews The Edge: The War Against Cheating and Corruption in the Cutthroat World of Elite Sports, authored by Roger Pielke Jr, as part of the scholarship contributing to the conversation on ongoing and future challenges to the governance of sport

    Covid-19 vaccines and the competition between independent and politicised models of regulation

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    The regulatory approaches used to approve Covid-19 vaccines vary substantially across different countries. While some states assign responsibility for vaccine approval to independent regulatory agencies, politicians in other states have greater scope to influence decision-making. Eva Heims and Slobodan Tomic write that the current push to roll out vaccination programmes as quickly as possible is shining a light on competition between these independent and politicised models of regulation

    Explaining enforcement patterns of anticorruption agencies: comparative analysis of five Serbian, Croatian and Macedonian anticorruption agencies

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    Anticorruption agencies (ACAs) have drawn scholarly attention in recent times. While authors focused predominately on studying ACAs’ performance and their contribution to the reduction of corruption, ACAs’ enforcement – as a process that precedes policy outcome - has remained understudied so far. This thesis seeks to contribute to filling this gap, by exploring the enforcement choices of five ACAs from three Western Balkans’ countries – Serbia, Macedonia, and Croatia, in the period 2001-2012. The thesis utilises three theoretical accounts in order to explore the determinants of the enforcement of the five ACAs’ enforcement. These are organisational, temporal, and leadership based accounts. Organisational accounts include de-jure independence and agency resources as key factors, temporal accounts include life-cycle and political-cycle as determinants of agency behaviour and, finally, leadership-based accounts highlight the role of leaders, i.e. human agency, in shaping agency enforcement. While failing to lend support for the organisational and temporal accounts, the empirical analysis offers evidence in support of the leadership based account. Overriding the organisational and temporal boundaries and constraints, the ‘personal’ (human) factor turns out to have been the key driver of the analysed ACAs’ enforcement. The thesis also sets out to investigate whether the ACA model has implications for ACAs’ enforcement. The first – the preventive ACA model - is argued to be able to exhibit the harshest forms of enforcement even if the organisational factors are weak. The other - the suppressive ACA model - is hypothesised to be able to exert the harshest forms of enforcement only under strong organisational factors. The empirical analysis yields support to this hypothesis. It is shown in the thesis that the two ACA models provide for different reputational opportunities and risks, factors that crucially shape the enforcement choices

    Revolving Door

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    Blatant, not latent : Patronage in top-level appointments in Serbia

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    This paper examines the model of party patronage in Serbia and its impact on the professionalisation of public administration. Drawing on case studies of the appointment and subsequent performance of heads of three prominent public organisations – the National Bank of Serbia, the Anti-Corruption Agency, and the Electro Industry of Serbia – we demonstrate that, despite efforts to implement the Weberian principle of “neutral competence”, which involves the prevalence of meritocracy over partisan affiliation, patronage in Serbia has not only persisted but has become more overt and invasive. The given model of patronage involves the pursuit of multiple functions of partisan patronage – resource extraction, partisan campaigning (including through clientelism), and policy control. We suggest that this model results in the appointment of unqualified individuals to top positions, leading to poor governance and low efficiency of public institutions. The findings point to a “reform reversal” scenario, which departs from the trajectory of mild progress or stagnation usually observed in other cases across post-communist Europe that follow the adoption of Weberian standards. As a conceptual contribution, the paper develops a typology, centered around the question of perniciousness of various patronage models, that captures patronage models and trajectories of anti-patronage developments in a more nuanced manner than the existing frameworks that compare patronage patterns

    University autonomy under democratic backsliding: a case study of a plagiarism investigation against Serbian Minister of Finance (2014–2019)

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    Scholars have documented a tendency of (semi-)authoritarian regimes to undermine university autonomy, mainly through organizational (de jure) changes. This paper presents a case study of a publicly triggered plagiarism investigation by the University of Belgrade into the doctoral thesis of the Serbian Minister of Finance, one of the key members of the increasingly authoritarian regime. The analysis finds a proceduralized and delayed response of the university’s leadership, which indicates lowered de facto autonomy from politics, despite the university’s continually high de jure autonomy. The investigation was closed only after a mobilization within the academic community which resulted in a university’s blockade that forced its leadership to retract the contentious thesis. The case study shows that, in contexts of democratic backsliding, political capture can extend farther than usually thought, impacting even the implementation of internal university standards. On the other hand, the analysis also shows that political capture is not necessarily irreversible and that academic community can mobilize to ‘undo’ it. This reinforces the notion of academic communities as value-driven groups capable of exerting peer pressure to override even authoritarian pressures. In order to understand the dynamic of the plagiarism inquiry in its entirety, we apply insights from theory of power to complement and overcome the limitations of the conventional theoretical frameworks on democratic backsliding and academic autonomy. autonomy

    News never sleeps: When and how transnational investigative journalism complements law enforcement in the fight against global corruption : SOC-ACE BRIEFING NOTE

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    Grand corruption is a transnational problem requiring transnational cooperation among anti-corruption actors. In the case of law enforcement, cooperation is often difficult to achieve, and this has been attributed to the political sensitivity of investigations, lack of trust among agencies, difficulties in sharing intelligence securely, weaknesses and discrepancies in capacity, and organisational incentive structures that favour quick and easy cases. However, investigative journalists, who ostensibly face similar challenges, increasingly cooperate across borders to investigate and expose corruption with great success. Our research seeks to understand how investigative journalists have overcome these difficulties and to assess the contribution that they make, alongside that of other actors such as law enforcement, to global collective efforts to tackle grand corruption and illicit financial flows. We explore these questions through interviews with investigative journalists who have participated in transnational networks in Latin America, the Caribbean and the Balkans We find that these networks empower journalists operating in high-risk contexts by providing safety in numbers and facilitating strategic use of different legal frameworks or access to data, methods and standards, helping to bring stories to the public. They serve an important function in identifying individual perpetrators of crimes, but also in uncovering patterns of corruption and systemic weaknesses, informing policymakers about where there is a need for action. Moreover, by creating understanding and awareness about grand corruption and its impacts among the public, they help to create political pressure on office holders to act. We argue that transnational investigative journalism (TIJ) should be seen as a new institution of global governance which adds significant capability and value to our anti-corruption toolkit. The transnational networks are agile, dynamic, and capable of working across borders, making them a match for the perpetrators of grand corruption, money laundering, and organised crime. However, there is potential for them to make an even more important contribution, if their work could be better coordinated with law enforcement and if their funding model was more secure
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