A Reading List on: Corruption and Asset Recovery

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“Corruption undermines Governments’ ability to act and serve their people. It siphons off the finance intended to reduce poverty and discourages investment in economies,” (Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP))

There is no doubt: the existence of corruption can poison the legitimacy of otherwise stable and secure governments. When the state itself is corrupt, how can it hope to encourage the rule of law among its citizens? Furthermore, corruption is directly linked to poverty and insecurity, and can severely stifle development in education and health. This syllabus on corruption and asset recovery aims to share some insight into the issue of corruption and efforts to combat it across the globe.

Recent Journal Articles

The Application of Human Rights Law to Private Sector Complicity in Governmental Corruption
Cecily Rose
Leiden Journal of International Law
Published Online August 5, 2011
Fighting Corruption to Improve Global Security: An Analysis of International Asset Recovery Systems
Mark V Vlasic and Jenaen N Noell
Yale Journal of International Affairs

Published Spring/Summer, 2011
When Corruption Fights Back: Democracy and Elite Interest in Nigeria’s Anti-Corruption War
Wale Adebanwi and Ebenezer Obadare
The Journal of Modern African Studies

Published Online April 26, 2011
When Voter Loyalty Fails: Party Performance and Corruption in Bulgaria and Romania
Mihail Chiru and Sergiu Gherghina
European Political Science Review

Published Online April 8, 2011
Corruption, Development and the Curse of Natural Resources
Shannon M Pendergast, Judith A Clarke and Cornelis Van Kooten
Canadian Journal of Political Science

Published Online June 29, 2011

Other Essays

“Fast Cash: Recovering Stolen Assets”
Mark V Vlasic and Gregory Cooper
Americas Quarterly

Fall, 2010
“A novel way to combat corruption: Who to punish”
The Economist
May 5 2011
“Corruption in Eastern Europe: From Bolshevism to Backhanders”
The Economist

April 14, 2011
“Going After Government Looters”
Mathew Saltmarsh
The New York Times

June 11, 2010

New and Upcoming Books

Corruption and the Misuse of Public Office (2nd ed.)
Colin Nicholls QC, Timothy Daniel, Alan Bacarese, and John Hatchard;
Oxford University Press 2011
Click here to read a review
The Prosecution and Defense of Public Corruption
Peter J Henning and Lee Radek;
Oxford University Press 2011
Click here to read a review
Confronting Corruption, Building Accountability
Lloyd J Dumas, Janine R Wedel, and Greg Callman;
Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
Corruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding
Dominik Zaum and Christine Cheng (eds.);
Routledge, 2011
Click here to read a review
Corruption and Organized Crime in Europe
Philip Gounev and Vincenzo Ruggiero;
Routledge, 2012
Preventing Corruption in Asia
Ting Gong and Stephen K Ma (eds.);
Routledge, 2011

Books being taught*


Controlling Corruption
Robert Klitgaard
University of California Press, 1998

In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo
Michela Wrong
Perennial, 2002

Everyday Corruption and the State
Giorgio Blundo and Jean-Pierre Olivier de Sardaan
Zed Books, 2006

How Russia Really Works: The Informal Practices that Shaped Post-Soviet policy and Business
Alena Ledeneva
Cornell University Press, 2006

*Selected from Professor Melissa Thomas’ course on Corruption in Developing Transitional Countries at the Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, John Hopkins University, Washington DC, United States.


Political Corruption
Paul Heywood
Blackwell 1997
Recovering Stolen Assets
Mark Pieth
Peter Lang, 2008

Official International Documents

United Nations Convention Against Corruption

African Union Convention on the Preventing and Combating of Corruption

OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions

The ISN’s own Digital Library contains further reading:

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