Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 68, Issue 4, pp 459–476 | Cite as

Civil society and online connectivity: controlling corruption on the net?

  • Niklas KossowEmail author
  • Roberto Martínez Barranco Kukutschka


Over the past years, an increasing number of studies have looked at the use of internet and communications technology (ICT) in the fight against corruption. While there is broad agreement that ICT tools can be effective in controlling corruption, the mechanisms by which they are doing this are much less clear. This paper attempts to shine some light on this relationship. It focusses on the role of ICT in empowering citizens and supporting civil society. It argues that enlightened citizens can use internet access and social media to inform themselves on corruption, mobilise support for anti-corruption movements and gather information in order to shine a lisght on particularistic practices. Defining corruption as a collective action problem, the paper provides quantitative evidence to support its claim that ICT can support collective action of an informed citizenry and thus contribute to the control of corruption.


Control of corruption Civil society Enlightened citizens Online connectivity Internet and communications technology Social accountability 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Niklas Kossow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Roberto Martínez Barranco Kukutschka
    • 1
  1. 1.Hertie School of GovernanceBerlinGermany

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