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Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 29, Issue 2–3, pp 99–112 | Cite as

Dealing with corruption: the next steps

  • Alan Doig
Article

Abstract

The 1997 White Paper from the British Government's Department for International Development (DFID) was specific in identifying the role of governance now being addressed by international and national donors: “improving governance can ... improve the lives of poor people directly. It is also essential for creating the environment for faster economic growth. Both aspects can be compromised by corruption, which all governments must address. In developing countries it is the poor who bear proportionally the heaviest cost“ (DFID, 1997, p. 30). Dealing with corruption is thus a priority both in terms of who it most affects and in terms of which objectives of governance — including participatory and responsive government and economic growth — it constrains. Although it has long held a specialist academic interest, corruption has become the subject of growing practitioner attention which means that the focus on corruption is beginning to move significantly from theory to practice and the practical. While there is substance to the belief that fire-engines cannot be designed without a thorough understanding of the fire they are intended to put out, there is also a sense in which the pervasiveness and tenacity of the current fires of corruption are such that action rather than refining theories and processes is what is now required. To paraphrase an analogy made by a senior British civil servant about the general issue of identifying policy — that corruption “is rather like the elephant — you recognise it when you see it but cannot easily define it” (quoted in Hill, 1997, p. 6) — is also to suggest that, while theorising may help draw up longer-term approaches to dealing with corruption, there is enough information and experience to develop best practice proposals for more immediate implementation and for developmental strategies that link to the longer-term approaches. This article addresses some of the issues of this agenda which seeks to develop, for those actively involved in anti-corruption initiatives, frameworks within which to consider realisable and cost-effective shorter-term anti-corruption strategies.

Keywords

Good Government Political Corruption Satisfactory Housing Improve Governance Public Service Ethos 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Doig
    • 1
  1. 1.Liverpool Business SchoolLiverpool John Moores UniversityUK

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