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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam

Luxury, Corruption and Global Ethics: Towards a Critical Cultural Theory of the Moral Economy of Fraud

Alternative title: Luksus, korrupsjon og global etikk: mot en kritisk kulturteori om svindelens moraløkonomi

Awarded: NOK 8.0 mill.

Why is corruption still increasing worldwide, despite universal recognition by all relevant international organizations that it needs to be fought? Everyone is against corruption. Former Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq, one of the world?s most corrupt countries, according to various assessments, has stated that corruption is more dangerous than terrorism. Kofi Annan and Pope Francis alike agree that corruption is evil ? a moral problem, with global ethics as a solution. But why do the numerous measures to improve ethical standards and increase transparency and accountability have little effect? To answer these pressing questions, LUXCORE utilizes theories and qualitative methods from anthropology, critical criminology and cultural theory to develop a novel, critical theory of corruption. We start out from two basic recognitions: First, corruption is itself underpinned by a criminogenic moral culture, the ?moral economy of fraud?. Second, corruption and luxury are inextricably linked. Entities simultaneously make use of the defiance industry (suppliers of luxury goods and services to ensure confidentiality) and the compliance industry (helping them appear as ethical). Underpinned by the moral economy of fraud, the defiance industry shapes the compliance industry that is supposed to combat it. More ethical requirements, in the form of ever more parameters and quantifiables, do not appear to be the solution. LUXCORE?s main objective is to understand why, by analysing the moral economy of fraud through concrete case studies of the (WP1) luxury sector and the defiance industry, (WP2) compliance in the luxury sector, and (WP3) political corruption, populism, and anti-corruption, to generate (WP4) an original and novel theory of corruption and the moral economy of fraud. Only a radically different theoretical lens will allow us to transgress the dialectic of defiance and compliance that prevents us from actually tackling corruption. The project has established websites under the joint umbrella of the Algorithmic Governance Research Network at algorithmic-governance.com where new publications, events, and other results are shared and promoted. The project participants are currently in the phase of interviewing, conducting fieldwork and other data collection, and they have also already organized a workshop and published articles.

Why is corruption still increasing worldwide, despite universal recognition by all relevant international organizations that it needs to be fought? Kofi Annan and Pope Francis alike agree that corruption is evil – a moral problem, with global ethics as a solution. But why do the numerous measures to improve ethical standards and increase transparency and accountability have little effect? To answer these pressing questions, LUXCORE utilizes theories and qualitative methods from anthropology, critical criminology and cultural theory to develop a novel, critical theory of corruption. We start out from two basic recognitions: First, corruption is itself underpinned by a criminogenic moral culture, the ‘moral economy of fraud’. Second, corruption and luxury are inextricably linked. Entities simultanelously make use of the defiance industry (suppliers of luxury goods and services to ensure confidentiality) and the compliance industry (helping them appear as ethical). Underpinned by the moral economy of fraud, the defiance industry shapes the compliance industry that is supposed to combat it. More ethical requirements, in the form of ever more parameters and quantifiables, do not appear to be the solution. LUXCORE’s main objective is to understand why, by analysing the moral economy of fraud through concrete case studies of the (WP1) luxury sector and the defiance industry, (WP2) compliance in the luxury sector, and (WP3) political corruption, populism, and anti-corruption, to generate (WP4) an original and novel theory of corruption and the moral economy of fraud. Only a radically different theoretical lens will allow us to transgress the dialectic of defiance and compliance that prevents us from actually tackling corruption. The output will be 1 jointly written monograph, 13 peer-reviewed journal articles; 1 special journal issue; 1 co-edited volume, 6 peer-reviewed book chapters, 4 public workshops and 2 public conferences, and 1 dialogue forum with stakeholders.

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FRIHUMSAM-Fri prosj.st. hum og sam