Norms for Networks: A Contractarian Approach to Corruption

  • Willeke SlingerlandEmail author
Part of the Ethical Economy book series (SEEP, volume 51)


This paper explores whether it is possible to consider a microsocial contract as the basis for the norms of a social network. It links the corruption debate with social contract theories as developed within political philosophy and business ethics. Hereby, the hypernorms of the macrosocial contract expressed in (inter)national laws are compared to the norms of social networks. Social networks are considered to be distinct moral agents. In this paper, recent corruption scandals in the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands illustrate common patterns of norm development in social networks. These cases provide an insight into communal norm development and the possibility that this will conflict with societal norms. The paper offers practical solutions to ensure that norms can be applied to social networks and that social networks themselves take greater responsibility in monitoring norm development to prevent network corruption.


Social Network Social Capital Network Member Public Prosecutor Project Developer 
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

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Governance, Law & Urban DevelopmentSaxion University of Applied SciencesEnschedeThe Netherlands

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