Epilogue
The British way in corruption
in The many lives of corruption
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This final chapter summarises the key contributions that emerge from the volume as a whole and develops their significance in terms of how they might be used to rethink the bigger picture of how corruption has informed – and undermined – the making of a democratic state in modern Britain. In particular, it cautions against dominant social-scientific approaches and argues for the essentially political nature of corruption, both as an analytical category and as a problem of governance. It then turns to how the volume opens up new ways of engaging the historic peculiarities of the British case, arguing that existing social-scientific accounts fail to accord enough importance to the British Empire. Once we put the British Empire back into the picture, it suggests, we end up with a decidedly more complex, and above all critical, sense of Britain’s status as a historic pioneer of clean government. It ends by once more affirming the essentially political nature of corruption.

The many lives of corruption

The reform of public life in modern Britain, 1750–1950

Editors: Ian Cawood and Tom Crook

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