Since the early 1990s, a series of major scandals in both the financial and most especially the political world has resulted in close attention being paid to the issue of corruption and its links to political legitimacy and stability. Indeed, in many countries – in both the developed as well as the developing world – corruption seems to have become almost an obsession. Concern about corruption has become a powerful policy narrative: the explanation of last resort for a whole range of failures and disappointments in the fields of politics, economics and culture. In the more established democracies, worries about corruption have become enmeshed in a wider debate about trust in the political class. Corruption remains as widespread today, possibly even more so, as it was when concerted international attention started being devoted to the issue following the end of the Cold War.
This Handbook provides a showcase of the most innovative and exciting research being conducted in Europe and North America in the field of political corruption, as well as providing a new point of reference for all who are interested in the topic. The Handbook is structured around four core themes in the study of corruption in the contemporary world: understanding and defining the nature of corruption; identifying its causes; measuring its extent; and analysing its consequences. Each of these themes is addressed from various perspectives in the first four sections of the Handbook, whilst the fifth section explores new directions that are emerging in corruption research. The contributors are experts in their field, working across a range of different social-science perspectives.
This is a well-constructed, thought-provoking, and complete overview of and engagement with the corruption field, something that Routledge handbooks are deservedly recognized for. While some of the contributions can be quite dense and challenging, corruption as a field of study is more oriented to advanced undergraduates and graduate students. Thus, the selections are appropriate and likely to maintain relevance for the long term. The book also takes some novel approaches that pay off in terms of conceptual organization: it does not use the standard division of "definitions" and "cases," but evolves beyond that to include the vastly undervalued but direly needed "measurements" and "consequences." By fluidly and compellingly fusing case studies into these broader rubrics, the overall impact of the volume increases for students and researchers alike. Finally, the concluding section, "New Directions," takes on some fairly innovative studies of corruption that could become a leading edge for future research within the discipline. Consequently, students of corruption get the foundation and the future in this one handy volume. A welcome addition.
--M. D. Crosston, Bellevue University
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.
1. Introduction: scale and focus in the study of corruption, Paul M Heywood
Section 1: Understanding corruption
2. The definition of political corruption, Mark Philp
3. Definitions of corruption, Oskar Kurer
4. The meaning of corruption in democracies, Mark Warren
5. The contradictions of corruption in Nigeria, Daniel J Smith
6. Criminal Entrepreneurship: a political economy of corruption and organised crime in India, Andrew Sanchez Section 2: Causes
7. Causes of corruption, Bo Rothstein and Jan Teorrell
8. What does cross-national empirical research reveal about the causes of corruption?, Daniel Triesman
9. Bureaucracy and corruption, Carl Dahlström
10. Sources of corruption in the European Union, Carolyn Warner Section 3: Measurment
11. Measuring corruption, Paul M Heywood
12. The Silence of Corruption: Identifying Underreporting of Business Corruption through Randomized Response Techniques, Nathan Jensen and Aminur Rahman
13. Corruption and the problem of perception, Jonathan Rose
14. The ethnographic study of corruption: methodology and research focuses, Davide Torsello
Section 4: Consequences
15. The consequences of corruption, Eric Uslaner
16. Corruption in Latin America: A View from the AmericasBarometer, Mitchell A Seligson and Brian M Faughnan
17. Corruption and development: the mutable edges of morality in modern markets, Sarah Bracking
18. Institutional design and anti-corruption in mainland China, Melanie Manion
19. The political economy of conflicts of interest in an era of public-private governance, Staffan Andersson and Frank Anechiarico Section 5: New directions
20. Reflection and Reassessment: The Emerging Agenda of Corruption Research, Michael Johnston
21. Gender and corruption, Lena Wängnerud
22. Behavioral and Institutional Economics as an Inspiration to Anticorruption - Some Counterintuitive Findings, Johann Graf Lambsdorff
23. Religion, Ethics and Corruption: Field Evidence from India and Nigeria, Heather Marquette
24. The threats to sports and sports governance from betting-related corruption: causes and solutions, David Forrest and Wolfgang Maennig
25. Freedom of information and corruption, Ben Worthy and Tom Mclean