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Author on Corruption Wins Grawemeyer Award

Today, the University of Louisville announced the winner of the 2009 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. WFPL’s Elizabeth Kramer reports.Michael Johnston receives the Grawemeyer Award for his 2005 book “Syndromes of Corruption.” The book looks at four different forms of corruption correspond to a country’s political and economic makeup.Johnston says he wants his research to have an impact."I hope people will be thinking about differences in types of corruption and the ways in which our responses have to differ as well, because what we tend to think of naturally as anti-corruption reforms reflect our experience," Johnston says. "They may not be helpful; they might even be harmful in other places."Michael Johnston is a professor of political science at Colgate University and his book defines four different forms of corruption that often correspond to a country’s culture and its political and economic makeup.Johnston."The basic argument is that instead of talking about more or less corruption as thought it were the same thing everywhere, we should be thinking of four qualitatively different syndromes," he says.Johnston was surprised to learn that he had won the award."You think of all of the different people doing work that could qualify for it, you know, it’s really good just to be under consideration," he says.Each year, the Grawemeyer Foundation at U of L gives awards for outstanding works in music composition, ideas improving world order, psychology, education and religion.