Greed, Corruption, and the Modern State

Greed, Corruption, and the Modern State

Essays in Political Economy

Edited by Susan Rose-Ackerman and Paul Lagunes

What makes the control of corruption so difficult and contested? Drawing on the insights of political science, economics and law, the expert contributors to this book offer diverse perspectives. One group of chapters explores the nature of corruption in democracies and autocracies, and “reforms” that are mere facades. Other contributions examine corruption in infrastructure, tax collection, cross-border trade, and military procurement. Case studies from various regions – such as China, Peru, South Africa and New York City – anchor the analysis with real-world situations. The book pays particular attention to corruption involving international business and the domestic regulation of foreign bribery.

Chapter 1: Typologies of corruption: a pragmatic approach

Jennifer Bussell

Subjects: economics and finance, economic crime and corruption, law - academic, corruption and economic crime, politics and public policy, public policy


Studies of corruption provide much evidence on both the causes and consequences of corruption, and yet progress remains strikingly limited on the conditions under which these causes may be relevant and these consequences occur. If an anti corruption reform successfully attenuates corruption in one context, should we expect the same to occur elsewhere? What information do we need about both the intervention and the nature of the corruption itself to answer this question? The goals of this chapter are threefold: first, to highlight issues of conceptualization and measurement in the existing literature on corruption that limit our ability to cumulate knowledge about corruption’s causes, effects, and the potential for reform. Second, to argue for a more explicit but pragmatic approach to typologies of corruption that should improve our ability to cumulate knowledge while not limiting the analytic endeavor. And, third, to present a new typology of corruption that is intended to facilitate analyses specifically aimed at identifying those individuals with a vested interest in existing forms of corruption.