Anti-corruption in History: From Antiquity to the Modern Era

ISBN : 9780198809975

Ronald Kroeze; Andre Vitoria; Guy Geltner
448 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Dec 2017
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Anticorruption in History is a timely and urgent book: corruption is widely seen today as a major problem we face as a global society, undermining trust in government and financial institutions, economic efficiency, the principle of equality before the law and human wellbeing in general. Corruption, in short, is a major hurdle on the "path to Denmark" a feted blueprint for stable and successful statebuilding. The resonance of this view explains why efforts to promote anticorruption policies have proliferated in recent years. But while the subject of corruption and anticorruption has captured the attention of politicians, scholars, NGOs and the global media, scant attention has been paid to the link between corruption and the change of anticorruption policies over time and place, with the attendant diversity in how to define, identify and address corruption. Economists, political scientists and policy-makers in particular have been generally content with tracing the differences between low-corruption and high-corruption countries in the present and enshrining them in all manner of rankings and indices. The long-term trends-social, political, economic, cultural-potentially undergirding the position of various countries plays a very small role. Such a historical approach could help explain major moments of change in the past as well as reasons for the success and failure of specific anticorruption policies and their relation to a country's image (of itself or as construed from outside) as being more or less corrupt. It is precisely this scholarly lacuna that the present volume intends to begin to fill. The book addresses a wide range of historical contexts: Ancient Greece and Rome, Medieval Eurasia, Italy, France, Great Britain and Portugal as well as studies on anticorruption in the Early Modern and Modern era in Romania, the Ottoman Empire, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and the former German Democratic Republic.


Ronald Kroeze, Andre Vitoria and G. Geltner: Introduction: Debating Corruption and Anticorruption in History

I - Antiquity
1 Claire Taylor: Corruption and Anticorruption in Democratic Athens
2 Valentina Arena: Fighting Corruption: Political Thought and Practice in the Late Roman Republic
3 Sarah E. Bond: The Corrupting Sea: Law, Violence and Compulsory Professions in Late Antiquity

II - The Middle Ages
4 Maaike van Berkel: Fighting Corruption between Theory and Practice: The Land of the Euphrates and Tigris, Ninth to Eleventh Centuries
5 Andre Vitoria: Late Medieval Polities and the Problem of Corruption: France, England and Portugal, 1250-1500
6 John Watts: The Problem of the Personal: Tackling Corruption in Later Medieval England, 1250-1550
7 G. Geltner: Fighting Corruption in the Italian City-State: Perugian Officers' End of Term Audit (sindacato) in the Fourteenth Century

III - Early Modernity
8 G.W. Bernard: A Water-Spout Springing from the Rock of Freedom? Corruption in Sixteenth- and Early Seventeenth-Century England
9 Francisco Andujar Castillo, Antonio Feros and Pilar Ponce Leiva: A Sick Body: Corruption and Anticorruption in Early Modern Spain
10 Stephane Durand: Corruption and Anticorruption in France from the 1670s to the 1780s: The Example of the Provincial Administration of Languedoc

IV - From Early Modern to Modern Times
11 Jens Ivo Engels: Corruption and Anticorruption in the Era of Modernity and Beyond
12 Mark Knights: Anticorruption in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Britain
13 Mette Frisk Jensen: Statebuilding, Establishing Rule of Law and Fighting Corruption in Denmark, 1660-1900
14 James Kennedy and Ronald Kroeze: The Paradox of A High Standard of Public Honesty: A Long-Term Perspective on Dutch History
15 Ovidiu Olar: Corruption and Anticorruption in the Romanian Principalities: Rules of Governance, Exceptions and Networks, Seventeenth to Nineteenth Century
16 Andreas Bagenholm: Corruption and Anticorruption in Early-Nineteenth-Century Sweden: A Snapshot of the State of the Swedish Bureaucracy
17 Iris Agmon: State, Family and Anticorruption Practices in the Late Ottoman Empire

V - Modern and Contemporary History
18 James Moore: Corruption and the Ethical Standards of British Public Life: National Debates and Local Administration, 1880-1914
19 Ronald Kroeze: Lockheed (1977) and Flick (1981-1986): Anticorruption as a Pragmatic Practice in the Netherlands and Germany
20 Andre Steiner: Corruption in an Anticorruption State? East Germany under Communist Rule

Michael Johnston: Afterword

About the author: 

Ronald Kroeze is Assistant Professor in History at the Free University of Amsterdam and was a Postdoctoral Researcher and member of Anticorrp's Work Package 2. He has published extensively on the history of corruption.; Andre Vitoria is a Postdoctoral Researcher and a member of Anticorrp's Work Package 2. His PhD research focused on the impact of the Romano-canonical ius commune on the administration of justice, litigation and the relationship between different jurisdictions and political powers in medieval Portugal. He specializes in legal and political history in the high and late Middle Ages and is particularly interested in the intersection of juristic and publicistic thought and legal and political practice.; Guy Geltner is Professor of Medieval History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Amsterdam. He has published widely on the history of Italian city-states in the later Middle Ages, especially on urban dis/order, as reflected in municipal approaches to punishment, dispute settlement, and public health.

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