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Public Corruption

Public Corruption

Robert Neild


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Book Details


'Public Corruption' is a stimulating and entertaining book about a daunting problem: the influence on public corruption of the changing nature of warfare. It will be of as much interest to the general reader and those around the seats of power as it is to historians and social scientists. The quality of the writing alone makes it a delight to read.

Throughout history, public corruption has been endemic. Exceptionally, it was significantly suppressed in modern times in northwestern Europe. Why did that happen? Why did politicians introduce measures that acted against their own interests? And are the political forces that then induced reform alive in today's world? Neild explores these highly topical questions by looking at the suppression of corruption in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in four countries – France, Germany, Britain and the USA; at the evolution of independent judiciaries; at developments in the twentieth century, including a reminder of how widely corruption was used as a weapon in the Cold War, particularly in the Third World. Finally, and most devastatingly, he analyses the rise and decline in standards of public life in Britain in the twentieth century.

Robert Neild is a retired Professor of Economics and a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. During a career that included two spells in Whitehall and also spells in India, Sweden, Switzerland and the USA, working on many areas of policy, he became interested in problems of public administration, including corruption.

'Anyone who is concerned about the mounting epidemic of global corruption should read this original and forthright book.' —Anthony Sampson, author of 'The Arms Bazaar'

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Front Matter 1
Half Title 1
Title 3
Copyright 4
Dedication 5
Acknowledgements 7
Table of Contents 9
Main Matter 13
Chapter 1. Introduction 13
Chapter 2. General 17
The Definition of Corruption 17
An Analytical Framework 21
Social Forces 22
Mechanisms of Reform 24
Runciman's Approach 25
The Problem of Taxation 29
Recapitulation 31
Chapter 3. Prussia/Germany 33
The Prussian Achievement 37
The Prussian Reaction to the French Revolution 38
Reforms to the Judiciary and Bureaucracy 42
Conclusion 44
Chapter 4. France 45
The Flawed Fiscal System 45
Attempts at Reform 49
The Revolution and Reform 53
Conclusion 56
Chapter 5. The United States 57
Narrative History 58
The Spoils System 59
Civil Service Reform 60
The Political Machine 63
City Politics 64
Reform 67
Conclusion 70
Chapter 6. Britain in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries 71
The Background 71
The Fiscal System 72
Fiscal Reform 75
England after the Napoleonic Wars 79
The Reform of the Civil Service 81
Conclusion 85
Chapter 7. Britain's Indian Connection 87
The Background 87
The Task of British Government in India 90
The Struggle to End Patronage 91
Patronage Debated 100
The Ideal of Public Service 102
Chapter 8: The Evolution of Independent Judiciaries 109
France and Germany 110
France 111
Prussia/Germany 115
England 119
Malpractice in the Courts 120
The Impeachment of Lord Macclesfield 122
The Basis of the English Judiciary's Independence 127
The Judges 129
The United States 131
Conclusion 136
Chapter 9. The Twentieth Century 137
The Start of the Century 137
Changing Values 140
The Changing Nature of Military Competition 141
The Effect of the Cold War in Advanced Countries 145
The Habit of Mendacity 146
The Cold War and Competition for Natural Resources 148
Bribery in The Arms Trade 151
The Internationalization of Government 156
The Position at the End of the Century 158
The Character of Recent Scandals 160
The Reaction to the Scandals 161
Conclusion 163
Chapter 10. Britain the First Half of the Twentieth Century 165
The Sale of Honours and Electoral Reform 167
Lloyd George's Excesses 168
The Inter-War Years 170
Assessment 172
The Mid-Century Peak 173
Chapter 11. Britain in the Second Half of the Twentieth Century 177
The Slide 177
La Fin de Siecle 182
The Law Against Corruption 184
Corruption and Politicians 186
Corruption and the Public Service 191
Assessment 206
Summary and Conclusion 209
Chapter 12. Recapitulation and Conclusion 213
The Observation of Corruption 214
Explanations 216
Implications for the Third World 218
End Matter 225
Appendix A: The Differences Between Private and Public Corruption and the Constraints on Them 225
The Definition of Corruption 225
Constraints on Corruption 226
Appendix B: Three Cases of Apparent Conflict of Interest in the Conduct of Officials 229
Sir Christopher Bullock 229
Air Vice Marshal Howard 230
Mr Hastie 232
Notes 235
Index 253