The rules that underpin the international fight against corruption are barely 30 years old. Their foundations are the UN Convention Against Corruption (2003), the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (1997) and a number of regional conventions. On top of this sit national and multilateral institutions, agencies and initiatives, buttressed by legislation such as France’s transparency and anti-corruption law, known as Loi Sapin II, the UK Bribery Act, Brazil’s Clean Companies Act and the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
There is a thriving private sector risk- and-compliance industry, a growing academic community specializing in corruption and a small but significant civil society. Almost none of this existed before the fall of the Berlin Wall, the moment at which it became possible to address corruption in a more systematic, coherent and international manner.