Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption
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Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption

Edited by Barney Warf

The Handbook on the Geographies of Corruption offers a comprehensive overview of how corruption varies across the globe. It explores the immense range of corruption among countries, and how this reflects levels of wealth, the centralization of power, colonial legacies, and different national cultures. Barney Warf presents an original and interdisciplinary collection of chapters from established researchers and leading academics that examine corruption from a spatial perspective.
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Chapter 15: Corruption and state capture in South Africa: will the institutions hold?

Karl Z. Meyer and John M. Luiz


The authors describe how South African corruption has roots in the colonial era. Under apartheid, the state resorted to money laundering and organised crime. The shift to black majority rule starting in 1994 did little to change its prevalence, allowing a small elite to capture the state as a means of extensive rent-seeking. The corruption of President Jacob Zuma, who faces 783 charges of corruption, fraud and racketeering, is a case in point. An unstable political environment and intense income inequality have fuelled corruption in different corners, a burden carried largely by the poor. As a result, distrust of the state is rampant. The authors then examine private corruption, such as in the country’s construction industry, and conclude by turning to corporate responses.

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