P009
The intimacy of corruption as a conundrum of governance: secrecy vs inflated rhetoric

Convenors:
Davide Torsello (Central European University)
Chair:
Davide Torsello
Discussant:
Italo Pardo
Stream:
Panels
Location:
M-340
Start time:
1 August, 2014 at 9:00
Session slots:
3

Short abstract:

This panel explores ways how corruption engenders new forms of social interaction that cut across actors, tasks and roles. Corruption has its own degree of intimacy and secrecy. Increased popularization of the phenomenon at political and business level endangers this intimacy.

Long abstract:

The contribution of anthropology to the study of corruption is relatively exiguous in number, though rich in pointing to new avenues for research. For example, anthropologists have avoided to investigate corruption since its empirical study could harm their informants. The quality of the observation depends partly of the trust relationship built over time with one's informants, which obviously means to avoid putting them into danger. However, despite such constrains, anthropological work in this field has produced new perspectives, especially regarding: governance, the morality of corruption and public discourse. This panel is aimed at raising new questions and providing answers on how corruption, its investigation and punishment, and the widespread public discourse about corruption engender new forms of social interaction that cut across actors, tasks and roles. Corruption has its own degree of intimacy as it often involves transactions marked by secrecy. On the other hand, increased popularization of the phenomenon at political and, increasingly, at business level endangers this intimacy. We are interested in ethnographically-based papers that deal with the topics listed below: - corruption and the state, imagined and factual relationships - the rule of law in corruption mechanisms - intimacy and secrecy - cooperative behavior, trust and corrupt deals - the imaginary of the anti-corruption industry - the power of discourses inflating corruption.