Advertisement

How International Rankings Constitute and Limit Our Understanding of Global Governance Challenges: The Case of Corruption

  • Alexander Cooley
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter investigates the analytically distorting effects sustained by international corruption rankings of treating corruption as a phenomenon bounded within national units. It questions the resulting understanding that corruption is disproportionately a problem of the developing world, characterised by direct unmediated transfers between bribe-givers and bribe-takers. Instead, the chapter offers a more transnational networked perspective on corruption, premised on the importance of professional intermediaries in facilitating illicit finance, the blurring of legal and illegal capital flows, and the globalisation of the individual via multiple claims of residence and citizenship. These trends are evidenced by a survey of the main components of the relevant transnational networks (shell companies, foreign real estate, and investor citizenship programmes). The chapter also includes a vignette study of the transnational dimensions of corruption involving Chinese individuals and the corresponding response of the Chinese government in internationalising its law enforcement strategies.

Keywords

Corruption Shell companies Rankings Transnational networks Brokers 

References

  1. Abbott, K., & Snidal, D. (2002). Values and Interests: International Legalization in the Fight against Corruption. Journal of Legal Studies, 31(1), 141–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Abrahamian, A. A. (2012, February 12). Passports…for a Price. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/us-passport-idUSTRE81B05A20120212
  3. Andersson, S., & Heywood, P. (2009). The Politics of Perception: Use and Abuse of Transparency International’s Approach to Measuring Corruption. Political Studies, 57(4), 746–767.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Arredy, J. (2011, June 16). Report: Corrupt Chinese Officials Take $123 Billion Overseas [Blog Post]. Wall Street Journal. http://blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2011/06/16/report-corrupt-chinese-officials-take-123-billion-overseas/
  5. Arredy, J. (2015, March 18). U.S. Indicts Ex-Chinese Government Official on Money Laundering Charges. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-indicts-ex-chinese-government-official-on-money-laundering-charges-1426688270
  6. Bhatt, S. (2015, March 17). Newcastle Woman Charged with Fraud in Immigrant Investor Visas. Seattle Times. Retrieved from http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/newcastle-woman-charged-with-immigrant-investor-fraud/.
  7. Bhuta, N. (2015). Measuring Stateness, Ranking Political Orders: Indices of State Fragility and State Failure. In A. Cooley & J. Snyder (Eds.), Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance (pp. 85–111). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bukovansky, M. (2006). The Hollowness of Anti-Corruption Discourse. Review of International Political Economy, 13(2), 181–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bukovansky, M. (2015). Corruption Rankings: Constructing and Contesting the Global Anti-Corruption Agenda. In A. Cooley & J. Snyder (Eds.), Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance (pp. 60–84). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Chayes, S. (2015). Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security. New York: W.W. Norton.Google Scholar
  11. Cooley, A., & Snyder, J. (Eds.). (2015). Ranking the World: Grading States as a Tool of Global Governance. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Davis, K. E., Kingsbury, B., & Merry, S. E. (2012). Indicators as a Technology of Global Governance. Law & Society Review, 46(1), 71–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Davis, K. E., Merry, S. E., & Kingsbury, B. (Eds.). (2015). The Quiet Power of Indicators: Measuring Governance, Corruption, and Rule of Law. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Drezner, D. (2008). All Politics Is Global: Explaining International Regulatory Regimes. Princeton: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Eigen, P. (1996). Combatting Corruption around the World. Journal of Democracy, 7(1), 158–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Financial Services Authority. (2011). Banks’ Management of High Money-Laundering Risk Situations. London: The Financial Services Authority. Retrieved from http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pubs/other/aml_final_report.pdf.Google Scholar
  17. Findley, M. G., Nielson, D. L., & Sharman, J. C. (2014). Global Shell Games: Experiments in Transnational Relations, Crime and Terrorism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Fontana, A. (2011). Making Development Assistance Work at Home. U4 Anti-Corruption Resource.Google Scholar
  19. Frank, R. (2015, June 22). Wealthy Foreigners Bought $100 Billion in Real Estate. CNBC. Retrieved from http://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/22/wealthy-foreigners-bought-100-billion-in-us-real-estate.html
  20. Fullerton, J. (2015, March 29). Operation Skynet: China’s Anti-Corruption Campaign Goes International. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/operation-skynet-chinas-anti-corruption-campaign-goes-international-as-beijing-reaches-out-to-10142310.html
  21. Gan, N. (2015, April 18). Revealed: The Team Behind China’s Operation Fox Hunt. South China Morning Post. Retrieved from http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/1768993/team-behind-chinas-operation-fox-hunt-revealed
  22. Global Witness. (2009). Undue Diligence: How Banks Do Business with Corrupt Regimes. London: Global Witness. Retrieved from https://www.globalwitness.org/en/campaigns/corruption-and-money-laundering/banks/undue-diligence/.Google Scholar
  23. Gutterman, E. (2014). The Legitimacy of Transnational NGOs: Lessons from the Experience of Transparency International in Germany and France. Review of International Studies, 40(2), 391–418.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Hirschman, A. O. (1970). Exit, Voice and Loyalty: Responses to Decline in Firms, Organizations and States. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  25. International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. (2016). The Panama Papers. Washington, DC: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists. Retrieved from https://panamapapers.icij.org/.Google Scholar
  26. Johnston, M. (2005). Syndromes of Corruption: Wealth, Power and Democracy. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Kelley, J. G., & Simmons, B. A. (2015). Politics by Number: Indicators as Social Pressure in International Relations. American Journal of Political Science, 59(1), 55–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kuhn, A. (2015, June 24). When Corrupt Chinese Officials Flee, The U.S. Is A Top Destination. National Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/06/23/416828057/when-corrupt-chinese-officials-flee-the-u-s-is-a-top-destination
  29. Lambsdorff, J. G. (2007). The Institutional Economics of Corruption and Reform. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Mazzetti, M. & Levin, D. (2015, August 15). Obama Administration Warns Beijing about Covert Agents Operating in U.S. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/17/us/politics/obama-administration-warns-beijing-about-agents-operating-in-us.html
  31. Merry, S. E. (2011). Measuring the World. Current Anthropology, 52(S3), S83–S95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Merry, S. E., Davis, K. E., & Kingsbury, B. (Eds.). (2015). The Quiet Power of Indicators: Measuring Governance, Corruption, and Rule of Law. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  33. Migration Advisory Committee. (2014). Tier 1 (Investor) Route: Investment Thresholds and Economic Benefits. London: Migration Advisory Committee.Google Scholar
  34. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. (2014, December 3). Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hua Chunying's Regular Press Conference [Press Release]. Retrieved from http://www.fmprc.gov.cn/mfa_eng/xwfw_665399/s2510_665401/t1216399.shtml
  35. O’Brien, F. (2015, April 7). Property Sales Spike Money Laundering Fear. Business Vancouver. Retrieved from https://www.biv.com/article/2015/4/property-sales-spike-sparks-money-laundering-fears/
  36. Rice, A. (2014, June 29). Stash Pad. New York Magazine. Retrieved from http://nymag.com/news/features/foreigners-hiding-money-new-york-real-estate-2014-6/
  37. Rose-Ackerman, S. (1999). Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences and Reform. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Rose-Ackerman, S. (2010). The Law and Economics of Bribery and Extortion. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 6(1), 217–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Rothstein, B. (2011). Anti-Corruption: The Indirect “Big Bang” Approach. Review of International Political Economy, 18(2), 228–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Saul, S. (2015, March 10). Treasury Urged to Scrutinise Foreign Real Estate Buyers for Money-Laundering Risk. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/11/business/treasury-urged-to-scrutinize-foreign-real-estate-buyers-for-money-laundering-risk.html
  41. Saul, S., & Levin, D. (2015, May 15). Charged with Graft in China, Some Fugitives Are Finding Luxury in U.S. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/16/world/asia/china-hunts-fugitives-accused-of-corruption-many-in-us.html
  42. Seabrooke, L., & Wigan, D. (2014). Global Wealth Chains in the International Political Economy. Review of International Political Economy, 21(1), 257–263.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Searcey, D., & Bransher, K. (2015, November 28). Chinese Cash Floods U.S. Market. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/29/business/international/chinese-cash-floods-us-real-estate-market.html
  44. Shachar, A., & Bauböck, R. (2014). Should Citizenship Be for Sale? (European University Institute Working Paper RSCAS 2014/1). Florence: European University Institute.Google Scholar
  45. Shelley, L. (2014). Dirty Entanglements: Corruption, Crime, and Terrorism. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  46. Shyong, F. (2014, August 28). Visa Program for Wealthy Investors Maxed Out by Chinese Demand. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved from http://www.latimes.com/local/la-me-0830-chinese-visas-20140830-story.html
  47. Silverstein, K. (2013, October 2). Miami: Where Luxury Real Estate Meets Dirty Money. The Nation. Retrieved from https://www.thenation.com/article/miami-where-luxury-real-estate-meets-dirty-money/
  48. Stephenson, M. (2016). Bibliography on Corruption and Anti-Corruption. Retrieved from Harvard University, Law School: http://www.law.harvard.edu/faculty/mstephenson/2016PDFs/Stephenson%20Corruption%20Bibliography%20May%202016.pdf.
  49. Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR). (2011). The Puppet Masters: How the Corrupt Use Legal Structures to Hide Stolen Assets and What to Do about it. Washington, DC: World Bank/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Retrieved from https://star.worldbank.org/star/sites/star/files/puppetmastersv1.pdf.Google Scholar
  50. Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR). (2014). Left Out of the Bargain: Settlements in Foreign Bribery Cases and Implications for Asset Recovery. Washington, DC: World Bank/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Retrieved from http://star.worldbank.org/star/sites/star/files/9781464800863.pdf.Google Scholar
  51. Story, L., & Saul, S. (2015, February 7). Stream of Foreign Wealth Flows to Elite New York Real Estate. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/nyregion/stream-of-foreign-wealth-flows-to-time-warner-condos.html
  52. Thomas, M. A. (2010). What Do the Worldwide Governance Indicators Measure? European Journal of Development Research, 22(1), 31–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Transparency International United Kingdom. (2015a). Corruption on Your Doorstep: How Corrupt Capital Is Used to Buy Property in the UK. London: Transparency International United Kingdom. Retrieved from http://www.transparency.org.uk/publications/corruption-on-your-doorstep/.Google Scholar
  54. Transparency International United Kingdom. (2015b). Gold Rush: Investment Visas and Capital Flows in the UK. London: Transparency International United Kingdom. Retrieved from http://www.transparency.org.uk/publications/gold-rush-investment-visas-and-corrupt-capital-flows-into-the-uk/.Google Scholar
  55. Treisman, D. (2007). What Have We Learned about the Causes of Corruption from Ten Years of Cross-National Research? Annual Review of Political Science., 10(1), 211–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. U.S. Senate. (2010). Keeping Foreign Corruption Out of the United States: Four Case Histories. Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations. Washington, DC: U.S. Senate. Retrieved from http://www.hsgac.senate.gov.Google Scholar
  57. Vogl, F. (2012). Waging War on Corruption: Inside the Movement Fighting the Abuse of Power. Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield.Google Scholar
  58. Wang, H., & Rosenau, J. N. (2001). Transparency International and Corruption as an Issue of Global Governance. Global Governance, 7(1), 25–49.Google Scholar
  59. Wayne, L. (2012, June 30). How Delaware Thrives as a Haven. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/01/business/how-delaware-thrives-as-a-corporate-tax-haven.html
  60. Wedel, J. R. (2012). Rethinking Corruption in an Age of Ambiguity. Annual Review of Law and Social Science, 8(1), 453–498.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Yan, S. (2015, April 23). China Releases “Most Wanted” List of Economic Fugitives. CNN Money. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2015/04/23/news/china-most-wanted-economic-fugitives/index.html
  62. Zucman, G. (2015). The Hidden Wealth of Nations: The Scourge of Tax Havens. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexander Cooley
    • 1
  1. 1.Barnard CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations