Political Corruption in a World in Transition

Jonathan Mendilow, Éric Phélippeau (Eds.)

by Jonathan Mendilow (Rider University), Olivia Newman (Rider University), Éric Phélippeau (Université Paris Nanterre, France), Ezequiel Martins Paz (Curitiba University, Brazil), Fernando Jiménez Sánchez (University of Murcia, Spain), Paulina Alvarado-Goldman (Rider University), Maria D. Bermudez (University of California, Irvine), Mónica García Quesada (Université Libre de Bruxelles, Belgium; London School of Economics), Stanislav Balik (Masaryk University, Czech Republich), Sofia Wickberg , Alix Meyer (University of Burgundy, France), Roman Chytlek (Masaryk University, Czech Republic), Petra Svacinova (Masaryk University, Czech University), Frank Rusciano (Rider University), Michael Shafir (Babes Bolyai University, Romania), Robert Boatright (Clark University), Molly Brigid McGrath (Assumption College)

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This timely and provocative book will disrupt current debates on corruption and reform in useful ways. It takes up new and important issues such as populism and “legal corruption” in the context of cases that have long deserved more scholarly attention, yet likes them effectively to longer-standing theories and concepts. Populists and international aid programs are shown to require fresh and careful thought. The language and appearances associated with corruption issues are considered in innovative ways. Corruption scholarship and reform thinking, seemingly frozen in time for a generation, are beginning to move in new directions, and this book will give those trends added impetus.

Michael Johnston
Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science, Emeritus
Colgate University

This book argues that the mainstream definitions of corruption, and the key expectations they embed concerning the relationship between corruption, democracy, and the process of democratization, require reexamination. Even critics who did not consider stable institutions and legal clarity of veteran democracies as a cure-all, assumed that the process of widening the influence on government decision making and implementation allows non-elites to defend their interests, define the acceptable sources and uses of wealth, and demand government accountability. This had proved correct, especially insofar as ‘petty corruption’ is involved. But the assumption that corruption necessarily involves the evasion of democratic principles and a ‘market approach’ in which the corrupt seek to maximize profit does not exhaust the possible incentives for corruption, the types of behaviors involved (for obvious reasons, the tendency in the literature is to focus on bribery), or the range of situations that ‘permit’ corruption in democracies. In the effort to identify some of the problems that require recognition, and to offer a more exhaustive alternative, the chapters in this book focus on corruption in democratic settings (including NGOs and the United Nations which were largely so far ignored), while focusing mainly on behaviors other than bribery.

Introduction: Democracy, Democratization, and Political Corruption Jonathan Mendilow, (Rider University), Eric Phélippeau (University of Paris Nanterre).

Part I. The Drivers of Corruption: Context as Independent Variable
1. Fixed Legal Definitions in the Context of Transition: Some Implications of the ‘Carwash Scandal’ in Brazil, Ezequiel Martins Paz (Curitiba University).
2. Collective Action and Control of Corruption in Spain: Towards a Model of Attitudes and Expectations towards Favoritism and Corruption, Fernando Jimenez Sanchez (University of Murcia), and Manuel Viloria (King Juan Carlos University, Madrid).
3. The Shifting Nature of Corruption in Israel: From Corruption for the Sake of Party and Ideology to Corruption for Private Gain, Ilan Peleg (Lafayette College).
4. Between Corruption and Difficult Ethical Choices – NGO’s in Hard Times, Paulina Goldman (Rider University).
5. Information Distortion as Corruption: the UN in a Time of Change, Maria D. Bermudez (University of California, Irvine).

Part II. Legal Corruption?
6. Persuasive Corrupters: Arguments Made to Corrupt Public Officials, Monica Garcia Quesada (Université Libre de Bruxelles and London School of Economics), and Fernando Jimenez Sanchez (University of Murcia).
7. The Untimely Disappearance of the ‘Appearance of Political Corruption‘ in the USA, Olivia Newman (Rider University).
8. Corruption at the Local Level in the Czech Republic, Stanislav Balik (Masaryk University).
9. Corruption French Style: illegalism, legal arrangements, and tolerance to public probity, Alix Meyer (University of Burgundy), and Eric Phélippeau (University Paris Nanterre).
10. Business Firm Parties in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Roman Chytlek and Petra Svacinova (Masaryk University).

Part III. Populism: A ‘Special Case’ of Legal corruption?
11. Machiavelli, V.O. Key and the Corruption of Republicanism, Frank Rusciano (Rider University).
12. Light onto Europe or Darkness at Noon? Corruption, Civil Society, Populism and Manipulation in Rumania, Michael Shafir (Babes Bolyai University).
13. Liberal Republicanism and its Populist Corruptions, Barry Seldes (Rider University).
14. Corruption and Corruption Talk: A Cautionary Note, Robert Boatright (Clark University).

Jonathan Mendilow is professor of political science and global studies at Rider University in Laurenceville, New Jersey. He serves as the current chair of the IPSA Research Committee on ‘Political Finance and Political Corruption’. He has published extensively on political finance, party competition, Middle Eastern politics and modern political theory.

Eric Phélippeau is professor of political science at Paris Nanterre University, member of the Institute for Political Social Sciences (ISP, UMR 7220 CNRS) and the IPSA Research Committee on ‘Political Finance and Political Corruption’. His research focuses on political finance and political corruption, ethics regulations in politics, and political professionalization.

Corruption, legal corruption, perceptions of corruption, abuse of power, patrimonialism, favouritism, patronage, access to power, bribery, state capture, lobbying, conflict of interest, clientelism, policies of influence, symbolic crusades, anticorruption policies, democracy, governance, state capacity, quality of government, legal code, social trust

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Bibliographic Information

Book Title
Political Corruption in a World in Transition
Number of pages
Physical size
236mm x 160mm
Publication date
October 2019