Discourse of corruption and anti-corruption

C. McVittie, R. Sambaraju

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter argues that what is to count as corruption, and the apparent lack of success of anti-corruption initiatives, can usefully be understood through detailed examination of how the issues are worked out in specific contexts. It examines in detail how individuals negotiate corruption and anti-corruption through language. The term corruption is often treated as being self-explanatory: the World Bank describes its definition as one that is ‘straightforward’. For many critics, the consistent failure of anti-corruption initiatives results inevitably from how corruption is understood. The corollary is that efforts that are described as anti-corruption are viewed as being intrinsically beneficial, regardless of how they present what they are seeking to address and the measures that are proposed. A particular issue for anti-corruption discourses is that these are nested in settings of international development and governance. A useful starting point is the much-quoted definition provided by the World Bank, still commonly found in discussions of corruption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCorruption, Social Sciences and the Law
Subtitle of host publicationExploration across the disciplines
EditorsJane Ellis
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9780429197352
ISBN (Print)9780367730086, 9780367186418
Publication statusPublished - 2019


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