Author: James L. Newell

This book provides an accessible account of current thinking about political corruption, recognising that the phenomenon is a serious problem: since it infringes rules defining legitimate and illegitimate means of the acquisition of wealth and the exercise of power, corruption damages the interests of the advantaged and disadvantaged alike. The advantaged find that wealth cannot be pursued and maintained safely, the disadvantaged that development is thwarted and resources redistributed from the poor to the rich. Against this background, the book takes the reader on a journey – a journey that begins with what corruption is, why its study might be important and how it can be measured. From there it moves on to explore corruption’s causes, its consequences and how it can be tackled – before finally discovering how these things are playing out in the established liberal democracies, in the former communist regimes and in what used to be commonly referred to as ‘the third world’. On the way it takes a couple of detours – first, to ascertain how the minimum of trust necessary for the corrupt transaction to take place at all is established and underwritten, and second to survey the phenomenon of scandal – to which corruption may give rise. The book is therefore offered as an informative ‘travel guide’ of potential interest to journalists and policy makers as well as to students and academics researching matters on which political corruption has a bearing.

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Prevention and control
James L. Newell

7 Anti-corruption: prevention and control Introduction The connection between corruption and scandal is directly related to prevention and control, because it is largely due to the growth of corruption scandals in the UK and elsewhere that there have been increasingly resolute attempts since the early 1990s to prevent and control the spread of corruption. Scandals are important in driving efforts to tackle problems like corruption because they push problems – suddenly and ­dramatically – to the top of the political agenda and create the public pressure needed to

in Corruption in contemporary politics
A case study of Italy
James L. Newell

8 Corruption in liberal democracies: a case study of Italy Introduction This chapter takes Italy as a case study of corruption in liberal democracies. A case study is the study of an entity – a country, a person, an institution or whatever it happens to be – that is carried out not for its own sake but because ‘it has significance beyond its boundaries’ (Hague, Harrop and Breslin, 1998: 275). It is carried out because the entity in question is taken to be an example of some larger category of entities so that studying it can help us to throw light on – develop

in Corruption in contemporary politics
James L. Newell

6 Political corruption and scandal Introduction In the last chapter we considered the relationship between political corruption and organised crime. Thanks to the close connection between the two concepts, ‘organised crime’ and ‘corruption’ are often confused with one another or used interchangeably. This also seems to be the case with the concepts of ‘corruption’ and ‘scandal’. Yet the two are different. Corruption is by definition an illegitimate activity and therefore likely to remain hidden. Therefore, you can have corruption without scandal simply because

in Corruption in contemporary politics
A crooked harp?
Author: Elaine A. Byrne

Ireland's national emblem, the harp, implies that concepts of meritocracy and legitimate entitlement are superseded by notions of special advantage through unorthodox and clandestine influence. This book maps the decline in standards since the inauguration of Irish independence in 1922, to the loss of Irish economic sovereignty in 2010. It examines how the deliberate policy of Augustine Birrell to 'green' Dublin Castle through patronage contributed to the downfall of the Irish party and had a profound bearing on the development of post-independent Ireland. The book reveals how the policy of economic protectionalism in the 1930s and 1940s provided the opportunity to exercise discretionary decisions to political allies in the issuing of licences, shares, leases and export quotas. The Tribunal trilogy from 1943 to 1947 contributed to the government collapse in 1944 and the removal of Fianna Fáil from power in 1948. The book assesses that discretionary political decisions were replaced by the authorisation of planning permission in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The shortcomings of planning legislation in the 1960s and the response of the 1973-1977 National Coalition government to alleged corruption, determined the framework for political culture in the subsequent 30 years. The book explores allegations of political favouritism towards the beef industry and within the privatisation process of state sponsored bodies in the 1980s and 1990s. It details how reliance on the beef industry was replaced by property and construction interests in the 1990s and 2000s, while assessing how the definition of corruption evolved from 1922 to 2010.

James L. Newell

1 Definitions of political corruption, and why study corruption Introduction On 23 June 2016, British citizens voted by 51.9% to 48.1% to leave the European Union (EU), in a referendum whose outcome was widely dubbed as a sort of ‘peasants’ revolt’. Against the advice of most of the political establishment, business leaders and expert economists, 17,410,742 people, a significant proportion of them living in deprived circumstances, produced an outcome widely thought to reflect anger at austerity, a sense of political impotence and frustration with mainstream

in Corruption in contemporary politics
James L. Newell

5 Political corruption and organised crime Introduction In the last chapter we saw that corrupt exchanges can involve the interaction of a range of different types of actor. This chapter focusses on one of those types: the third-party enforcers. Enforcers offer the threat – and sometimes the actuality – of violence to ensure that, once the parties to a corrupt exchange have agreed to do business and have agreed terms, the terms are respected. To that extent, they offer something analogous to the insurance policies available in the world of legal contracts to

in Corruption in contemporary politics
James L. Newell

3 The causes and explanations of political corruption Introduction How can we explain or account for corruption? If scholars have attempted to overcome the difficulties of measuring corruption, the reason why they have done so is quite simply because of the desire to find out what causes corruption, and you cannot test hypotheses about what causes corruption unless you can measure it. In turn, the desire to find out what causes corruption stems from the fact that corruption is perceived as a problem, and you cannot begin to deal with a problem until you know

in Corruption in contemporary politics
James L. Newell

9 Political corruption in Central and Eastern Europe Introduction There is likely to be something distinctive about corruption in the postcommunist states of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the former Soviet Union. Political scientists have conventionally made a distinction between advanced liberal democracies, the so-called second world of communist and post-communist states, and third-world countries. These categories (especially the ‘third world’ category) are used less frequently than was once the case; but they, or similar categories, are distinguished

in Corruption in contemporary politics
James L. Newell

2 The growth, spread and measurement of corruption Introduction In this chapter we look at the growing attention academics have paid to the phenomenon of corruption and at the problems involved in its measurement. The period since 1990 seems to have been marked by growing levels of academic concern with the topic: ‘Inserting the expression “political corruption” into the search box of the British Library’s integrated on-line catalogue throws up 1,266 items – of which no fewer than 1,073 were published in 1990 or later’ (Newell, 2008: 40). The chapter first

in Corruption in contemporary politics