Losing the fight against graft

Russia and China are undermining western-led anti-corruption efforts, warns Robert Barrington.

The World Today Updated 27 September 2020 Published 1 August 2020 3 minute READ

Robert Barrington

Executive Director, Transparency International UK

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.

Subscribe to read all issues

Articles from the current issue are free to read by all, the archive is exclusive to magazine subscribers and our members. Subscribe or become a member to view articles from the archive.