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The corruption of politics or the politics of corruption? Reconsidering the role of organised crime in the geo-politics of corruption
BySue Penna, and Martin O’Brien
Pages 21

The extensive, albeit fragmented, literature on corruption points to the different manifestations of corruption in different parts of the world, raising many problems for scholars. This chapter begins by detailing understandings held by policy-making and operational agencies of the role of organised crime in corruption processes, before examining how corrupt relationships in New Jersey and the City of London are managed, reproduced, and facilitated. It shows that the anti-corruption discourse that has become globally established through the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) ascribes a disproportionate importance to organised crime in processes and practices of corruption, and ignores factors which allow its continued participation in such relations – that is, where actions may be corrupt but licit. The United States has perhaps the most widely enforced anti-corruption law in the world, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which prohibits American persons and entities from bribing foreign governments.