(K. Brent Tomer),
The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management: On the International Campaign against Grand Corruption. By J.C. Sharman. Cornell University Press; 261 pages; $29.95 and £20.95.
CORRUPTION is never far from the front page. In recent weeks, thousands of Romanians protested against plans to decriminalise low-level graft, and Rolls-Royce was hit with a £671m ($835m) penalty for alleged bribery. Meanwhile, long-running corruption scandals continue to roil political and corporate leaders in Brazil and Malaysia. The growing attention has spurred governments to pledge action, as dozens did at a global anti-corruption summit in London last year.
Jason Sharman, professor of international relations at Cambridge University, is particularly interested in “grand corruption”: the theft of national wealth by kleptocratic leaders and their cronies, often in poor (albeit resource-rich) countries. It is a subject he knows well, having spent over a decade studying the offshore centres and vehicles—shell companies, for example—that are used to hide ill-gotten gains.
The list of light-fingered leaders who feature in “The…Continue reading