Glendon professor shortlisted for the Vincent Lemieux Prize

One of Glendon’s newest professors, Ellen Gutterman, is a finalist for the Vincent Lemieux Prize for 2007 offered biennially by the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA). Named after the eminent political scientist, Professor Vincent Lemieux of Laval University in Quebec, CPSA offers the Lemieux Prize to the author of the best PhD thesis submitted at a Canadian university within the past two years, in English or in French, in any sub-field of political science.

Right: Ellen Gutterman

Gutterman, a professor in Glendon’s Political Science Department, submitted her PhD thesis in 2005, titled, On Corruption and Compliance: Explaining State Compliance with the 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. Her thesis examines the suprising variation in compliance observed among the United States, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom – four leading exporter members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation & Development (OECD) – with a binding international convention to control the "supply side" of transnational bribery – those who offer the inducements – in international business.

"My study explains why certain relatively similar states among this group comply with the same international legal commitment, while others don’t," says Gutterman. Her central argument in her thesis, completed while she was a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, is that state compliance with an international commitment is a function of the effectiveness with which the global norm at stake in that commitment is articulated in a state’s domestic politics.

Gutterman discovered that of the four states she was studying, the non-compliant ones were not the ones conventional stereotypes would have identified. While the US and Germany complied at a very high level, France was only moderately compliant and the UK failed altogether. The reasons for compliance and non-compliance were complex and dependent on domestic variables. These included issues such as the levels of public awareness and sensitivity to corruption within a given society, and whether the compliance policies were presented in terms that were a high priority for that society.

The fact that the four countries she has studied are similar in their level of development and in social norms made it possible to draw significant conclusions for the theoretical framework she had developed. "The topic is still current and my theory still holds," says Gutterman. She will publish her results as a series of journal articles and is planning a book on her findings.

Gutterman is one of four finalists for the Lemieux Prize. The winner will be awarded at the 2007 CPSA Annual Conference at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon, on May 31.

This article was submitted to YFile by Marika Kemeny, Glendon communications officer.