The International Campain Against Grand Corruption

Stream: Panel 36 - International Relations: From Words to Deeds in Global Governance? 
Date: Tuesday, 27 September 2016
Time: 2.00 pm – 3.30 pm


This paper examines the rise of a global norm and associated rules prohibiting one country from hosting money stolen by senior officials from another country. State leaders, generally from poorer countries, have routinely looted millions or even billions of dollars from their national treasuries. Where does the money go? All too often, it is spent or stashed in rich countries. Until very recently, these rich countries have had no moral or legal obligation to do anything about these inward flows of dirty money. Now, states have a moral and legal duty to screen, seize and return such illicit wealth to the victim state. First, why did this normative and policy change occur? Why did a situation that had long been seen as common and unremarkable come to be viewed as immoral and a policy problem in need of a solution, especially given the powerful vested interests favouring the status quo? Second, how well is this campaign against hosting the proceeds of ‘grand corruption’ working? To what extent are shortcomings in effectiveness a product of a lack of will, because governments are not really trying to fix the problem, or a lack of capacity, given that the problem is intrinsically hard to solve?


Jason Sharman (Presenter), Griffith University
Jason Sharman is a Professor with the Centre for Governance and Public Policy at Griffith University