Is anti-corruption an imperialist plot? Transparency International and development assistance

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Over the last decade the anti-corruption movement, led by the Berlin-based NGO Transparency International (TI), as grown to include 90 affiliates throughout the world. While pursuing laudable goals to raise awareness about corruption, promulgate and enforce anti-corruption conventions, pursue anti-corruption projects and embarrass corrupt governments thorugh its Corruption Perception Index and Bribe PayersIndex, Transparency International has also sought close relations with international business and the World Bank, through its strategy of "coalition-building” to improve the “business climate” in developing countries. Although it perceives itself as part of “global civil society” and attends events such as the World Social Forum, TI has also been criticized as an arm of international capitalism due ot its business-friendly, nonconfrontational policies. Its indexes, which are controversial in their methods, are now being used by donors to withhold development aid. This paper discusses the perspectives on TI as an instrument for achieving integrity and social justice on the one hand,and the view of TI as an instrument for neoliberal hegemony. It is possible that NGOs can in fact serve both functions at the same time.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2006
EventAmerican Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2006 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 2006 Nov 152006 Nov 19
Conference number: 105


ConferenceAmerican Anthropological Association Annual Meeting, 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA

Bibliographical note

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Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Social Anthropology


  • social anthropology
  • corruption
  • anticorruption
  • transparency international
  • neoliberalism
  • civil society
  • development assistance
  • NGOs


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