Understanding Corruption

How Corruption Works in Practice

Robert Barrington, Elizabeth David-Barrett, Sam Power, Dan Hough

£65.00  |  $95.00
ISBN 9781788214438
£19.99  |  $30.00
ISBN 9781788214445
£19.99  |  $30.00
ISBN 9781788214452
256 pages   |  234 x 156mm   |  28 February 2022


Corruption is known to be a complex problem, and understanding corruption in its many forms and global reach is the work of many years. This books tells the story of how corruption happens in practice, illustrated through detailed case studies of the many different types of corruption that span the globe.

Written by an expert team, each case study follows a tried and tested analytical approach to understand the different forms of corruption (bribery, political corruption, kleptocracy and corrupt capital) and how to tackle them.

With an emphasis on the harm such corruption causes, its victims, and where it has been tackled successfully, the authors draw lessons from the case studies to build a picture of the global threat that corruption poses and the responses that have been most effective.


1. Corruption in theory and practice – Dan Hough

Part I Bribery
2. A world tour of bribery – Robert Barrington
3. Bribery case studies
3.1 Alstom and corporate bribery – Tom Shipley
3.2 Odebrecht, corporate bribery and political corruption – Francis McGowan
3.3 Panalpina and facilitation payments – Tom Shipley
3.4 Petty bribes in the developed world – Robert Barrington
4. Learning from bribery case studies – Robert Barrington

Part II Political Corruption
5. How to make friends, spend money and influence politics – Sam Power
6. Political corruption case studies
6.1 The Council of Europe and Azerbaijan: corruption in parliament – Roxana Bratu
6.2 Darleen Druyun, the defence sector, and the revolving door – Tom Shipley
6.3 Jacques Chirac and French politics – Liljana Cvetanoska
6.4 Jack Abramoff and the US lobbying industry – Tena Prelec
7. Learning from political corruption case studies – Sam Power

Part III Kleptocracy and State Capture
8. Accumulating money and power – Elizabeth David-Barrett
9. Kleptocracy and state capture case studies
9.1 Angola and the Dos Santos regime – Tom Shipley
9.2 Erdogan and cronyism in Turkey – Tena Prelec
9.3 Najib Razak and 1MDB in Malaysia: fraud and corruption – Shahrzad Fouladvand
9.4 The Guptas and state capture in South Africa – Tena Prelec
9.5 FIFA: kleptocracy and capture outside politics – Robert Barrington
10. Learning from kleptocracy and state capture case studies – Elizabeth David-Barrett

Part IV Corrupt Capital
11. The secret world of corrupt capital – Robert Barrington
12. Corrupt capital case studies
12.1 Teodorin Obiang and asset recovery – Tena Prelec and Georgia Garrod
12.2 The Panama Papers and offshore secrecy – Ben Cowdock
12.3 Bell Pottinger and reputation laundering in South Africa - Ben Cowdock
12.4 Zamira Hajiyeva and unexplained wealth – Ben Cowdock
12.5 Professional enablers in London – Ben Cowdock
13. Learning from corrupt capital case studies – Robert Barrington

Part V Conclusion
14. Understanding Corruption – Dan Hough and Elizabeth David-Barrett

Author Information

Robert Barrington is Professor of Anti-Corruption Practice in the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex.

Elizabeth David-Barrett is Professor of Governance and Integrity and Director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex.

Sam Power is Lecturer in Corruption Analysis in the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex.

Dan Hough is Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex. He has been a consultant on corruption and anti-corruption issues for the UK government, the Saudi Arabian anti-corruption commission, and the South Korean anti-corruption commission.

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