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Steven Sampson

Steven Sampson

Professor emeritus

Steven Sampson

The Anti-Corruption Industry: From Movement to Institution


  • Steven Sampson

Summary, in English

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.


  • Social Anthropology

Publishing year




Document type

Working paper


  • Social Anthropology


  • anti-corruption
  • anti-coruption industry
  • Social anthropology
  • development industry
  • socialantropologi
  • anti-corruptionism
  • corruption