corruption

Corruption, abuse of power and lack of trust in Sweden: Does NPM corrupt?

Erik Wångmar’s book on corruption presents an astonishingly thorough and methodical historical analysis of five corruption cases set in the world of Swedish local politics, i.e. on a municipal level. While impressive in its laboriously scope, archival accuracy and extensive time frame, the book does not counterbalance this empirical focus with an equally rewarding theoretical analysis and development.

Corruption: Multiple margins and mediatized transgression

[…] the limits set by civilization can dictate the conditions without which it could not exist. But it is enough for it to dictate them rather often. If the situation appears clear, it is as if the limits were there to be transgressed. (Bataille, 1991: 220)

Critiquing corruption: A turn to theory

The world is waging war on corruption. Accompanying this war, there is also a growing academic interest in corruption. This research, however, has tended to operate with a nearly undisputed understanding of what corruption is and how to fight it. It has refrained from theorizing corruption, possibly as a consequence of the perceived urgency involved in identifying, raising awareness about and fighting corruption. This special issue of ephemera seeks to re-emphasize the relevance and importance of theorizing corruption.

submission deadline  
30 Oct 2013
call for papers pdf  

Issue Editors: Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Eric Breit and Lena Olaison

For this Special Issue of ephemera, we want to explore the possibilities of turning to theory, instead of practice, to critique corruption and anti-corruption. Corruption is often seen as a virus or a cancer that is eating away at the core of contemporary society (Wolfensohn, 1998). Correspondingly, international anti-corruption measures have risen to prominence over the last decade, exemplified by the UN Convention on Corruption and the UN Global Compact. In the 2000s, corporate scandals, such as Enron, Worldcom, and most recently the global banking crisis, have increasingly put corruption into the spotlight.

Despite this, there have been few calls for theoretical investigations into corruption – on the contrary, there seems to be an aversion to such explorations. While there are various types of corrupt practices (e.g. bribery, fraud, embezzlement, etc.) at different levels (e.g. petty, grand, systemic), few are... more

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