Glendon Campus
York University
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Professor Ellen Gutterman Short-Listed for This Year’s Vincent Lemieux Prize


One of Glendon’s newest professors is a finalist for the Vincent Lemieux Prize for 2007, named after the eminent political scientist Professor Vincent Lemieux of the UniversitÚ Laval, and awarded biennially by the Canadian Political Science Association (CPSA).

The CPSA offers the Lemieux Prize, sponsored by Les Presses de l'UniversitÚ Laval, 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.

Gutterman, currently an assistant professor in Glendon’s Political Science Department, submitted her PhD thesis to the University of Toronto in 2005 with the title On Corruption and Compliance: Explaining State Compliance with the 1997 OECD Anti-Bribery Convention. The puzzle she attempts to explain with her research is the surprising variation in compliance observed among the United States, Germany, France, and the United Kingdom - four leading exporter members of the OECD - with a binding international convention to control the supply-side of transnational bribery 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 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.

How did Gutterman decide on this thesis topic? “I have had a long-standing interest in the politics of the developed world”, she comments. “The 1990s marked the beginning of serious concern about corruption being an impediment in governance. I became a consultant for Transparency International, a leading NGO in this field, located in Berlin. The research I did for them focused on state compliance, and this was my entry point to my PhD research focus.”

To her surprise, 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 U.S. and Germany complied at a very high level, France was only moderately compliant and the UK failed altogether in this respect. 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 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”, affirms Gutterman. She plans to publish her results as a series of articles in learned journals. She is also planning to publish a book on her findings.

Gutterman is one of four finalists for the Lemieux Prize. The others are Kristin Good of the University of Toronto, whose topic is Multicultural Democracy in the City: Explaining Municipal Responsiveness to Immigrants and Ethno-Cultural Minorities; J. Scott Matthews of the University of British Columbia, who examined Campaign Learning and the Economy; and Katleen McNutt of Simon Fraser University, who researched Virtual Policy Networks: Navigating the Policy Web. The prize for the winner will be awarded at the 2007 CPSA Annual Conference at the University of Saskatchewan, in Saskatoon, on May 31st.

New in Glendon’s classrooms, Gutterman will be teaching several courses starting this fall. Among these, a second-year level course, Introduction to International Relations, a third-year course on International and Transnational Organizations, as well as an advanced research seminar on Transnational Crime and Corruption. “I am thrilled with the atmosphere of [Glendon’s] campus and the welcome I have received from my colleagues”, says Gutterman. “In the future, I hope to also participate in the Glendon School of Public Affairs, which is opening this fall.”

This article was submitted by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny.

Published on May 30, 2007