A research project team at the Wellington School of Business and Government led by Professor Karin Lasthuizen and Dr. Bryce Edwards will release an annual Political Integrity Index for New Zealand from 2022 onward. They are currently looking for a PhD candidate to work on the research.
This project is funded by the new Gama Foundation Governance and Policy Studies Endowment Fund at Victoria University of Wellington. The fund is investing in research and communication that supports better governance and better social and environmental policies for the benefit of all New Zealanders. (See also Reforming Political Party Donations which is another project supported by this fund.)
The Political Integrity Index project will provide a systematic and longitudinal measure to increase transparency of political integrity issues, demonstrate the magnitude of the problem in New Zealand and drive appropriate policy reforms.
The New Zealand research will collaborate with the Dutch team that has published a Political Integrity Index for the Netherlands since 2013.
How often are politicians involved in an integrity scandal, and accused of integrity violations in the media; which types of violations and political parties were involved; have the allegations been investigated and what were the consequences for the people involved? These questions are at the heart of the PhD project that is part of a wider research project. The PhD candidate will be responsible for the intensive media search and additional investigations and systematically categorise (alleged) integrity violations of politicians according to a typology of integrity violations, including corruption and fraud, conflicts of (financial) interest, misuse of information, abuse of authority, interpersonal deviance (e.g. bullying, harassment) and private time misconduct.
The intended PhD research focuses on political integrity in New Zealand, which may focus in particular on conflicts of (financial) interests of politicians and undue influence in political affairs, and/or political accountability and transparency. Comparative research, for example between national and local political level, or between countries may be part of the research.
The scholarship is open to appropriately qualified domestic and international applicants. Deadline for applications is 1 July 2022 with a proposed start of the research on 1 September 2022. For more information see: PhD Scholarship - Political Integrity Index New Zealand.