Illicit Governance: Corruption, Scandal and Fraud
The 1980s and 1990s have seen a proliferation of corruption scandals across Western Europe. In the most spectacular case, Italy, an entire political class has been put on trial and the political system transformed, largely as a result of public outrage at, and the legal prosecution of, corrupt bureaucrats, businessmen, party officials and members of parliament. The investigations of the so-called Mani Pulite (‘clean hands’) enquiries revealed a massive and complex web of corruption spanning all traditional political parties, including the Italian Communist Party which had been excluded from national — though not local — government for most of the postwar period. The Italian case is perhaps an extreme one, because of the unusual domination of government by one party — the Christian Democrats — and its allies between the late 1940s and the early 1980s, and the challenge mounted against that hegemony by Bettino Craxi’s Socialist Party. This ferocious struggle for political, economic and cultural power meant colonising and exploiting the public sector and indulging in any practice thought expedient, including widespread illegality.
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.