Catalogue


The best system money can buy [electronic resource] : corruption in the European Union /
Carolyn M. Warner.
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2007.
description
xvi, 256 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0801445558 (hdbk. : alk. paper), 9780801445552 (hdbk. : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Ithaca : Cornell University Press, 2007.
isbn
0801445558 (hdbk. : alk. paper)
9780801445552 (hdbk. : alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
Corruption dynamics in the European Union -- Does competition in the European Union corrupt? -- "Corruption is our friend" : exporting graft in infrastructure, arms, and oil -- The myth of the market : privatization -- Decentralization, democracy, and graft -- The corruption of campaign and party financing -- The pathologies of an international organization -- The European Union, the international political economy, and corruption.
catalogue key
8837887
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 199-246) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2008-03-01:
This is a well-documented, well-written book that presents an often-overlooked side of European Union integration--widespread corruption and failed accountability by politicians and private sector entrepreneurs. Warner's definition of corruption here includes bribery, kickbacks, and extortion among politicians, bureaucrats, and firms. Through detailed case studies, Warner (Arizona State) shows how politicians and companies resort to corruption to cheat the system of increased competition in the single market. Collusion between politicians, local law enforcement officials, and firms attempts to take advantage of the current void in the system of enforcement of EU regulations, partially caused by the harmonization process at the local level. Examples include numerous privatization schemes and export promotion efforts that seem to institutionalize bribery in many member states. The book is divided into eight chapters that cover such topics as corruption, privatization, decentralization and democracy, political party financing, and the EU in the international political economy. Appendixes include an important list of key victims of corruption and a brief survey of the EU and its institutions. Overall, this book is an important addition to the literature on regional integration in Europe. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All levels. B. A. Yesilada Portland State University
Reviews
Review Quotes
"Carolyn Warner's well-documented book shows that corruption in the European Union is fostered by democracy, free trade and decentralization, the very factors that are often portrayed as the institutional foundations of transparency. In so doing, it challenges the conventional wisdom about the anti-corruption benefits of political and economic competition. This engaging exposé is written with a sense of irony, but it turns the EU's squeaky-clean self-promoting international image into farce."-David D. Laitin, The James T. Watkins IV and Elise V. Watkins Professor of Political Science, Stanford University
"The Best System Money Can Buy is a stunning account of entrenched corruption and failed accountability in the European Union. With striking evidence and powerful reasoning, Carolyn M. Warner shows how privatization, decentralization, and economic integration have-in the context of weak oversight, lax enforcement, and insatiable needs for campaign funding-fostered new forms and sustained old forms of corruption in the wealthy democracies of Western Europe. Anyone who thinks corruption is primarily a problem of emerging democracies needs to read this book. As Warner demonstrates, 'the unchained liberal market is not self-correcting,' but rather requires serious and independent institutions of accountability."-Larry Diamond, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, March 2008
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
As the European Union moved in the 1990s to a unified market and stronger common institutions, most observers assumed that the changes would reduce corruption. This text provides a framework for understanding the persistence of corruption in the Western states of the EU.
Main Description
As the European Union moved in the 1990s to a unified market and stronger common institutions, most observers assumed that the changes would reduce corruption. Aspects of the stronger EU promised to preclude-or at least reduce-malfeasance: regulatory harmonization, freer trade, and privatization of publicly owned enterprises. Market efficiencies would render corrupt practices more visible and less common. In The Best System Money Can Buy, Carolyn M. Warner systematically and often entertainingly gives the lie to these assumptions and provides a framework for understanding the persistence of corruption in the Western states of the EU. In compelling case studies, she shows that under certain conditions, politicians and firms across Europe, chose to counter the increased competition they faced due to liberal markets and political reforms by resorting to corruption. More elections have made ever-larger funding demands on political parties; privatization has proved to be a theme park for economic crime and party profit; firms and politicians collude in many areas where EU harmonization has resulted in a net reduction in law-enforcement powers; and state-led "export promotion" efforts, especially in the armaments, infrastructure, and energy sectors, have virtually institutionalized bribery. The assumptions that corruption and modernity are incompatible-or that Western Europe is somehow immune to corruption-simply do not hold, as Warner conveys through colorful analyses of scandals in which large corporations, politicians, and bureaucrats engage in criminal activity in order to facilitate mergers and block competition, and in which officials accept private payments for public services rendered. At the same time, the book shows the extent to which corruption is driven by the very economic and political reforms thought to decrease it.
Table of Contents
Corruption dynamics in the European Unionp. 14
Does competition in the European Union corrupt?p. 30
"Corruption is our friend" : exporting graft in infrastructure, arms, and oilp. 54
The myth of the market : privatizationp. 85
Decentralization, democracy, and graftp. 107
The corruption of campaign and party financingp. 135
The pathologies of an international organizationp. 159
The European Union, the international political economy, and corruptionp. 175
Key dead menp. 191
Brief survey of the European Unionp. 195
The major institutions of the European Unionp. 197
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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