The Anti-Corruption Industry: From Movement to Institution

Research output: Working paper


This paper describes takes the concept of ‘industry’, often used pejoratively in critiques of international development, and applies it to the field of anti-corruption. The characteristics of the anti-corruption industry, including anti-corruptionist discourse, resemble that which has taken place in development aid, human rights, civil society and gender equality. The anti-corruption industry thus includes key global actors, secondary actors who look for ‘signals’, and an apparatus of understandings, knowledge, statistics and measures, all of which tend to prioritize anti-corruption institutions over anti-corruption activism. It is argued that the questionable impact of anti-corruption programs enables the anti-corruption industry to coexist along with the corruption it ostensibly is combating. Instead of viewing anti-corruption as hegemonic, we need to critically examine the consequences of the global institutionalization of anti-corruptionist discourse and anti-corruption practice.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Social Anthropology


  • anti-corruption, anti-coruption industry, Social anthropology, development industry, socialantropologi, anti-corruptionism, corruption
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Publication categoryResearch

Bibliographic note

This paper will appear in revised form a future issue of the journal Global Crime as part of a special issue on anti-corruption edited by Diana Schmidt-Pfister and Holger Moroff. comments to

Total downloads

No data available

Related research output

Steven Sampson, 2010, In : Global Crime. 11, 2, p. 261-278

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

View all (1)