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2 Brown J. World Aff. 245 (1994-1995)
Curruption Erruption, The

handle is hein.journals/brownjwa2 and id is 577 raw text is: The Corruption Eruption
Moists NAfM
Senior Associate and Director of Latin American Studies
at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
hy, in the 1990s, has corruption suddenly become such a political
lightning rod? From India to Italy, from Japan to Brazil-why have
societies which have traditionally tolerated corruption at the high-
est levels in government and the private sector suddenly lost their patience,
their citizens willing to take to the streets to topple high officials accused of
In the last few years, at least six heads of state, more than fifty cabinet
ministers, scores of congressmen, and hundreds of businessmen throughout
the world have lost their jobs, their libert, and even their lives on account of
allegations of corruption.1 Indeed, suicides among powerful government offi-
cials and businessmen accused of corruption have become quite common. This
veritable eruption of corruption scandals has affected every region of the world,
regardless of cultural background or gross national product.
Even nations that pride themselves on their established democratic sys-
tems and rule of law have not been immune. In France, one ex-minister and a
prominent senator have been jailed, a former treasury minister committed sui-
cide after having been accused of improprieties, another minister was forced
from office, and at least five additional ministers are under investigation on
account of allegations of corruption. In Spain, popular support for the govern-
ment of Felipe Gonzalez has been substantially eroded by repeated accusations
Kathleen Keller provided invaluable research assistance in the writing of this article.
My thanks to Thomas Carothers and Christoph Bertram for their helpful comments
on an earlier draft.

Summer 1995 - Volume II, Issue 2

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