The Law, Expectation, and Reality in the Marketplace: The Problems of and Responses to Corruption

By Boswell, Nancy Zucker | Law and Policy in International Business, Summer 1999 | Go to article overview

The Law, Expectation, and Reality in the Marketplace: The Problems of and Responses to Corruption


Boswell, Nancy Zucker, Law and Policy in International Business


It is an honor to be here among many colleagues with whom Transparency International (TI) has cooperated in promoting anti-corruption reform measures in this hemisphere. In just the past few years, we have made great progress in raising public awareness of the costs of corruption, in setting standards for transparency and accountability, and in achieving agreement on needed legal reforms.

I would like to briefly review this progress and then turn to the troubling dilemma raised in the title to this panel, The Law, Expectation and Reality in the Marketplace, for it is clear that in Latin America there is profound skepticism about whether, in reality, legal reform will meet our expectation of curbing illicit practices.

We must, of course, continue to press for legal reform so that there is an adequate legal base with which to prevent, root out, or sanction corruption. However, we must also address the widely-held public belief that, despite a plethora of anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws already on the books, little has changed to date.

Complementary reforms will be required, including reforms in the judiciary, the civil service, and the media, and the opportunity for participation by civil society in policy formulation and decision-making must be greatly increased.

I. LAYING THE FOUNDATION FOR AN ANTI-CORRUPTION FRAMEWORK

These legal and non-legal anti-corruption reforms first received the imprimatur of the top leadership of this hemisphere at the Summit of the Americas in 1994. This was a watershed event, breaking the historical taboo against open discussion of the issue, its consequences, and the need for reform.

Until that time, there had been little support, if not outright resistance, within governments, international institutions, and the private sector to even admit to the problem of corruption, let alone to become involved in finding solutions. Reluctance to place blame, fear of impinging on sovereignty, concern for overriding geopolitical or commercial objectives, and a myriad of other reasons were used to support the status quo.

Since then, several factors converged, compelling us to set a new course. A wave of corruption scandals and severe economic crises took corruption out of the purely "political" or "ethical" realm and focused attention on its economic impact. They made clear the corrosive nature of corruption: corruption distorts market forces, undermines the rule of law, erodes public trust, and, ultimately, threatens political stability.

Moreover, the destructive impact was not confined within territorial borders. Failures of governance in one country reached beyond national boundaries to capital markets, international institutions, and the individual consumer or mutual fund-owner half-way around the world.

Leadership in setting a new course in the fight against corruption came first from within this hemisphere. Since 1994, the Clinton Administration has made fighting corruption a top foreign policy objective. It has actively pursued anti-bribery agreements and supported governance programs around the world.

But, it is important to note that this has not been solely an American initiative. At the 1994 Miami Summit of the Americas, leaders from across this hemisphere recognized that corruption was undermining progress in reaching their objectives of establishing competitive markets, equitable development, and democratic reform. They called for action.

Raising the issue at the highest political level set the stage for reaching agreement on regional anti-corruption standards. I was delighted to participate in this event on behalf of TI and encouraged by the breakthrough it represented.

For those who know our organization solely from the TI Corruption Perception Index, TI had been launched only the year before at a conference in Ecuador. Since then, national chapters have taken root in over 60 countries, including 15 in this hemisphere. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Law, Expectation, and Reality in the Marketplace: The Problems of and Responses to Corruption
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.