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Malcolm Crook

what constituted ‘corrupt practices’. In Britain, key pieces of legislation included the 1854 Corrupt Practices Act, which distinguished between ‘bribery’, ‘treating’ and ‘undue influence’. A more comprehensive act followed in 1883, which set limits to campaign spending. In France, developing regulations that dated from the 1790s, a comprehensive electoral law was passed in 1849, which clearly defined

in The many lives of corruption

This book provides an introduction to the English legal system and its development during the period c 1215-1485. It affords a valuable insight into the character of medieval governance as well as revealing the complex nexus of interests, attitudes and relationships prevailing in society during the later Middle Ages. The book considers the theoretical and ideological aspects of medieval law and justice, examining the concepts and discourses to be found in official and non-official circles. It concentrates on manifestations of crime and disorder and the royal response to this in the form of the development of judicial institutions. The book then looks at the dispensation of justice both inside and outside the courtroom. It examines in detail the machinery and functioning of criminal justice both in the royal courts and in those autonomous areas exercising delegated powers. The book also considers the use of extra-judicial methods, such as arbitration and 'self-help', to illustrate the interaction of formal and informal methods of dispute settlement. It focuses on the personnel of justice, the justices of the central courts and the local officials who carried out the day-to-day administrative tasks. The smooth and successful operation of the judicial system was challenged and sometimes hindered by the existence of corrupt practices and abuse of its procedures.

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

The many lives of corruption begins the task of piecing together the bigger picture of how corruption has undermined public life in modern Britain. It offers a uniquely expansive perspective, which stretches from the Old Corruption and ‘unreformed’ politics of the eighteenth century through to the mass democracy and welfare state of the twentieth.

Conceptually, as an object of thought, as much as practicably, and as an object of reform, corruption has proved tenaciously problematic and protean. This volume engages with both of these crucial aspects, arguing that it is only by grasping them together that we can fully understand how corruption has shaped the making of a democratic-capitalist state in Britain and given rise to new ideals of public service. It examines the factors that have facilitated and frustrated anticorruption reforms, as well as the various ways ‘corruption’ has been conceived by historical agents. It does so across a range of different sites – electoral, political and administrative, domestic and colonial – presenting new research on neglected areas of reform, while revisiting well-known scandals and corrupt practices. The many lives of corruption is essential reading for all scholars interested in understanding how the pursuit of purity in British public life has evolved over the past two and a half centuries – and why corruption remains such a pressing issue today.

Parliament and electoral corruption in the nineteenth century
Kathryn Rix

have rarely attracted more than a passing mention from historians. 6 Failed legislative endeavours have received even less attention, despite the fact that, as Charles Seymour’s 1915 account observed, ‘during the two decades which followed the Reform Act there [were] few subjects so constantly discussed … as the extinction of corrupt practices’. 7 The political veteran Lord Lansdowne noted in 1847

in The many lives of corruption
Anthony Musson
Edward Powell

The smooth and successful operation of the judicial system was challenged and sometimes hindered by the existence of corrupt practices and abuse of its procedures. Concerns about the inadequacies of the law and problems in the workings of justice are surprisingly well articulated in examples of the imaginative literature of the period and appear to offer an indictment of the whole

in Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages
Abstract only
Jago Morrison

ambivalence. The Nigeria we see under construction in these novels is not a land of freedom, wrested by its people from the grip of greedy invaders. It is the messy product of ill-designed policy, indigenous non-cooperation, the elevation of unsuitable leaders and the entrenchment of corrupt practices. They may have been written in the years immediately preceding and following decolonisation, but heroic independence narratives these are not. Two years after the publication of Arrow of God, Achebe would further extend his analysis of his nation’s painful birth and

in Chinua Achebe
Alex Middleton

exhibited mainly in the interested distribution of appointments, pensions, fees, sinecures and reversions to the creatures, connections and co-religionists of ministers and officeholders. 16 These pursuits were perceived to run across the departments of state. It came to be widely argued, however, that no department was so disfigured by corrupt practice as the Colonial Office. It was further claimed that corruption in the

in The many lives of corruption
Poulson and Smith
Peter Jones

sector was dominated by just seven companies – Wimpy, Concrete, Laing, Wates, Taylor Woodrow, Camus and Crudens – and Poulson had links with at least four. Finally, Poulson as an architect was not alone in resorting to corrupt practice. Patrick Dunleavy’s work amply demonstrates these matters in Birmingham, where Alan Maudsley, the city’s chief architect 1966–73, dispensed considerable patronage over negotiated contracts and he gave out, in return for payments, work to a small local architectural firm – Ebery and Sharp – that transformed its business.68 The structure

in From virtue to venality
Russell Southwood

describes how the South African liberalisation drew in international investment, and the licensing process in Nigeria that overcame corrupt practices. It concludes by looking at the uneven pace of liberalisation and privatisation up to 2004. The contrast between the struggles to set up a mobile voice operation in Zaire (see Prologue) and Zimbabwe (see below) illustrates the ‘old’ and ‘new’ way of doing business in Africa. Whereas Telecel's Rwayitare and his partner relied on a relationship with a key politician, 1

in Africa 2.0
Conservative responses to nationalisation and Poplarism, 1900–40
Liam Ryan

The chapter is concerned with the politicisation of ‘corruption’ during the early twentieth century. It contends that corruption remained a contested concept long into the twentieth century, when – much as before – it was deployed to support a variety of political arguments and objectives. It does so through a focus on Conservative objections to nationalisation and so-called ‘Poplarism’, a term used to stigmatise the efforts of high-spending left-wing local councils in the 1920s to provide generous levels of outdoor relief and unemployment compensation. The Conservative critique of nationalisation rested on the argument that public ownership was anathema to good government. Shorn of commercial imperatives, socialist politicians sitting on the boards of nationalised industries would grant privileges to trade union officials and bribe working-class electors with promises of material benefits. Infused by similar anti-democratic assumptions, Conservatives opposed Poplarism on the grounds that it was corrupt and even, some suggested, analogous ‘to the open and extensive bribery which prevailed in elections in the good old days’. The Poplarist credo of generous outdoor relief was felt to be demoralising and inimical to the spirit of self-help, constituting a flagrant violation of orthodox Poor Law principles. Whereas in previous centuries condemnations of corrupt practices were often bound up with radical demands for a more representative polity, they now, at the start of the twentieth century, registered a profound unease with the realities and ramifications of universal suffrage.

in The many lives of corruption