2010
Publication:
Sage Publications

Chapter in Public Sector Corruption, Michael Johnston, ed.

Corruption always grabs the headlines and the processes of political contention that created the modern state have done much to shape our notions of corruption and good government; yet very old ideas show surprising vitality as we examine the ways citizens understand and react to corruption issues. Corruption issues appeared as a major international policy concern around 1990, after a generation during which they received relatively little emphasis, and since that time the research literature has had unprecedented growth in quantity and quality.

This major reference collection collates the best of the research for scholars, policymakers, students, reformers, journalists, and interested citizens, showing us where we have been and where we need to go as the work continues. Further, the collection develops a much-needed comprehensive record of what we have learned from political scientists, economists, and historical and cultural analysts; while all borrow selectively and creatively from each other, they are still engaged in largely separate conversations. Finally, this collection focuses on the whole issue of reform. The past generation's research has both led to new ideas about how to attack corruption, measure its seriousness, and assess the effects of corruption control efforts. The collection is a particularly important toolkit to bring the best of our knowledge to bear upon efforts at control-in effect, to integrate theory and practice-for as in many other policy areas it is entirely possible to do the wrong things for the right reasons.