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Corruption is set to become one of the defining political issues of the 21st century November 13, 2012

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
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The Corruption Pandemic

Corruption has played a pivotal role in determining the current state of the world – from mass poverty in developing countries, to the destruction of natural resources and to the erosion of trust in political parties. Laurence Cockcroft here argues that corruption has to be seen as the result of the interplay between elite ’embedded networks’, greed and organised crime.  He shows how the growth of corruption has been facilitated by globalization, the integration of new and expanding markets into the world economy, and by the rapid expansion of  ‘offshore’ financial facilities. These facilities provide a home to largely unregulated pools of finance derived from personal fortunes, organised crime and pricing malpractice in international trade. By identifying the main drivers of corruption world-wide and analyzing the current action to control them, this study suggests ways in which the problems caused by corruption can be addressed and ultimately prevented.

“Laurence Cockcroft is worried about global warming. Yes, like many of us, he’s concerned about the implications of rising temperatures. But he’s also aware of another danger that most people have probably overlooked — namely, the link between climate change and corruption. So what could these two things possibly have to do with each other? A lot, it turns out. As Cockcroft points out, many forms of environmental destruction are against the law in the places where they happen, but the perpetrators — illegal loggers, say, in countries like Brazil, Indonesia, or the Congo — often resort to corruption to evade the law.But there’s an even more interesting angle, too. Some of the mechanisms that the international community has put in place to tackle climate change, Cockcroft says, are potentially vulnerable to abuse. Carbon trading has proven notoriously susceptible to fraud. Rich countries are already committing hundreds of billions of dollars to funds that are supposed to compensate poorer nations for the cost of adapting to global warming.The amounts involved, Cockcroft warns, are potentially bigger than all the money currently spent on development aid. So that makes them a tempting target for graft — especially when you consider how much of the money spent on aid projects in the past has been lost to corruption. “If corruption undermines those funds the way it has undermined a lot of aid programs,” he says, “it could prove a big obstacle to restricting temperature rises to less than two degrees before 2050.” One could easily dismiss Cockcroft as just another single-issue advocate cultivating a pet obsession. But I think that would be a big mistake. I believe that he’s entirely right to argue that corruption has become a systemic disease that undermines governance around the world, and that it can cripple the ability of states to function if left unchecked.” Christian Caryl:



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