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Corruption and economical reform in Jamaica, 1783–91
Aaron Graham

Between 1781 and 1793 the British government embarked on a programme of what contemporaries called ‘economical reform’, which aimed to address problems of political and administrative corruption revealed by successive defeats in the American Revolutionary War. It triggered a process that would, arguably, root out entrenched or Old Corruption from the British political system by the mid-nineteenth century. The underlying factors for its success have been debated, and one of the suggestions is that the campaign was no mere bureaucratic exercise but involved a series of dialogues between popular demands, political practicalities and administrative realities that made for effective, long-term change. Focusing on a comparable process of economical reform undertaken at the same time but on a smaller scale in Jamaica during the 1780s, this chapter shines some much needed light on the experience of anticorruption initiatives in colonial settings, and contributes to the wider literature by reinforcing the importance of the interplay between political support and administrative direction. It argues that reforms in Jamaica lacking such support failed, but where that support existed, it had to be channelled in productive directions, since the political ideology – Old or Country Whig – that gave the movement its edge could work both for and against effective change. The experience of Jamaica, for all the differences from Britain in its society and economy, also shared some important similarities and helps to clarify what enabled and inhibited successful programmes of anticorruption reform at this critical juncture for the British imperial state.

in The many lives of corruption
Economical reform and the regulation of the East India Company, 1765–84
Ben Gilding

The early development of the British Empire in India was decisively shaped by concerns for the domestic constitution, and, conversely, the East India Company was an important feature in debates on ‘economical reform’ in Britain. Studies of corruption in the East India Company have frequently focused on the allegations levelled against their overseas employees, dubbed ‘nabobs’, culminating in the spectacle of Warren Hastings’s impeachment trial. This chapter, however, uncovers the intersections between various forms of Old Corruption in the British state and those in the East India Company at a time when the Company was undergoing a metamorphosis from a private mercantile corporation into a quasi-independent imperial agency. Whereas Hastings’s impeachment took place after the passage of Pitt’s India Act of 1784, which settled the major contours of the relationship between the state and the Company until well into the nineteenth century, the corruption analysed in this chapter was intimately connected with the process of reform, and thereby had a far more significant impact on the development of the British Empire in India. In particular, the chapter argues that the legislative reforms imposed on the Company during the 1760s and 1770s, which aimed to curtail certain forms of corruption, inadvertently opened the door to many others, as the domestic and imperial became structurally entangled.

in The many lives of corruption
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The Scottish crisis and the Black Legend of the House of Stuart, 1650–2
Thomas Cogswell

Shortly after the execution of Charles I and the establishment of the new Free State, authors sympathetic to the republican regime began developing increasingly lurid tales not simply about the dead king, but also about his extended family. It highlighted the Stuarts’ political misrule and religious indifference, but it also advanced a remarkably detailed, and eye-catching, account of their sexual depravity. Charles preyed on court ladies; James was addicted to lithe young men; Anne of Denmark – not surprisingly – had a marked preference for Nordic males; Mary Queen and Scots was sexually voracious, just as her mother Mary of Guise had been. All paid a steep religious and political price for their unchecked libidos, for by 1649, God – these authors all argued – had marked the entire family was destruction. This systematic denunciation of the Stuarts in the early 1650s, furthermore, corresponded almost exactly with the Third Civil War in which the Free State faced off against the unholy alliance of Charles II and the Scottish Covenanters. The direct political relationship between the emerging Black Legend and the Republic becomes even clearer since it was partly written and almost certainly coordinated by John Milton, Marchmont Nedham and their protégés. This chapter examines this development of the rhetoric of an Accursed Family in the early 1650s, and in the process, it underscores the utility of Ann Hughes’ work of printed culture and sexual politics during the English Revolution.

in Insolent proceedings
Westminster scandals and the problem of corruption, c. 1880–1914
Tom Crook

This chapter argues that the problem of corruption mutated in some key respects during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. In particular, it argues for the development of a new and essentially vigilant culture of reform, based on the assumption that all public office-holders, of whatever party-political stripe, were: (a) inevitably sustained by – and at the very least exposed to – networks and relations of financial self-interest; (b) thus always and necessarily at risk of acting corruptly; and (c) as such, constantly exposed to a speculative, cynical watchfulness on the part of the press and their political opponents. In short, though few regarded corruption as inevitable, it was at this juncture that the culture of liberal-patrician reformism that had done away with Old Corruption was surpassed by one that took it for granted that corruption formed an ever present object of party-based agitation and public cynicism. One example of this, the chapter suggests, is the new premium placed on ‘conflicts of interest’ and ensuring that there were no grounds whatsoever even for public suspicion (the ‘rule of Caesar’s wife’). But the argument is also developed through an examination of three key scandals centred on the Westminster elites: the Hooley affair (1898), the Kynoch affair (1900–01) and the Marconi scandal (1912–13). Overall, it suggests that the turn of the twentieth century should be seen as a key moment of transition in the politics and politicisation of corruption in public life.

in The many lives of corruption
Militancy and mobilisation in London, 1643
David Como

This chapter examines the finances of the so-called ‘General Rising’, a scheme by militant parliamentarians to raise the populace for all-out war against the king in the summer of 1643. Drawing upon heretofore unknown manuscript accounts, this article dissects the General Rising from the ground up, attempting not only to understand who was responsible for driving the scheme forward, but also why the plan ultimately ended in failure. In the process, the chapter illuminates the composition of the coalition that came together behind this radical program, allows for an assessment the contribution of women to the mobilisation, and helps to make sense of the emergent divisions that were coming to destabilise parliament’s war effort.

in Insolent proceedings
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Under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, States are entitled to claim four maritime zones off their coasts (territorial sea, contiguous zone, exclusive economic zone and continental shelf) within which they have sovereignty, sovereign rights or jurisdiction, as explained in chapters four, seven, eight and nine. The outer limits of these four zones are, respectively, twelve, twenty-four, 200 and up to 350 nautical miles. Those distances are measured from what is known as the ‘baseline’. The latter is normally the low-water line. However, in certain circumstances other lines may be used as the baseline. This chapter explains how the low-water line is determined and the circumstances in which other lines may be used as the baseline. Such lines include those connecting the outermost points on coasts that are deeply indented and/or fringed with islands and those drawn across the mouths of bays, rivers and harbour entrances. The chapter also considers the role of islands in the application of baselines, as well as the effect on baselines of predicted increases in sea levels.

in The law of the sea
The case of Belfast and Glasgow, c. 1920–70
Peter Jones

Historians of municipal corruption have generally focused on particular ‘scandals’ and ‘affairs’. The corruption scandals that afflicted the Metropolitan Board of Works in the 1880s and the Poulson affair of the 1970s have been especially well served. Such scandals have been seen as a product of multiple factors, among them personal greed and lax morals, confused understandings of ‘corruption’ on the part of key players and insufficiently robust cultures of administrative accountability. Yet the attention lavished on high-profile scandals and the actions of individuals, or groups of individuals, has not been without some costs. In particular, it has obscured the existence of more endemic, durable and, in some respects, more mundane and communal forms of civic corruption, born of peculiarly fractious and divided urban societies. This chapter examines two cities where corruption assumed this more diffuse, socially embedded form: Belfast and Glasgow, from roughly the 1920s to the 1960s. Arguably, they were the most corrupt cities in the UK during the mid-twentieth century; but they certainly shed light on how social and political antagonisms – in both cases profoundly etched with sectarianism – as well as poverty and economic dislocation can undermine civic trust and probity and foster forms of corruption rooted in group loyalty and party faction. The chapter examines each city in turn, before discussing their commonalties and differences in the conclusion.

in The many lives of corruption
Where are the male victims?
Louise du Toit

What is clear from the #MeToo moment is that the more visible sexual violation becomes, the more contested will be its meanings and implications. Now more than ever, the emotional energy (moral outrage, fear, anger) emitted by accounts of sexual attack gets appropriated for purposes far removed from the primary victims. There is more policing of what rape victims say than the rapes themselves. A dominant response to the greater visibility of victims of sexual attack worldwide is to marginalise victims’ perspectives and appropriate the issue for anti-feminist aims such as imperialist, anti-immigration, racist and xenophobic politics. This chapter focuses on the South African context where the heightened politicisation of sexual violence is most often tied to anxieties around black rule and the sovereignty of the new (nation-)state, instead of being drawn upon to further a feminist agenda of greater gender justice post-apartheid. Thus, typically, the ‘emotional capital’ or energy released by the suffering of rape victims is lifted away from them and their needs and deployed in the service of either racist or anti-racist masculinist-nationalist agendas. The chapter argues that what is needed in this context is to relentlessly centre the actual victim perspectives, of which the great majority are poorer women and children. Furthermore, it will claim that in contemporary South Africa, it is particularly pertinent for the pursuit of gender justice to include in this kind of feminist activism the voices of male prisoner victims of sexual violence.

in Intimacy and injury
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The contiguous zone is a zone of sea contiguous to and seaward of the territorial sea, extending up to 24 nautical miles from the baselines from which the breadth of the territorial sea is measured. In the contiguous zone, the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) provides that States have limited powers for the prevention and punishment of breaches of customs, fiscal, sanitary and immigration laws. The chapter begins by explaining the development of the concept of the contiguous zone and how the zone is delineated. Noting that a State must assert its right to a contiguous zone, the chapter considers claims made to a contiguous zone. It then addresses the legal status of the zone in detail, notably the scope of coastal State jurisdiction and the extent to which States claim contiguous zones for purposes other than those expressly set out in UNCLOS.

in The law of the sea

This chapter considers the legal status of the seabed adjacent to a typical coast. It approaches the question of continental shelf rights primarily from the perspective of the classical continental shelf doctrine, looking first at the area to which it applies and second at the nature of coastal States’ rights. It addresses the role of the Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf and the current status of its work. The continental shelf of Antarctica, notably the various claims currently made in that regard, is discussed. An analysis of the rights and duties of the coastal State is provided, first with reference to the 200 mile zone, before turning to the outer continental shelf.

in The law of the sea