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The Despot's Guide to Wealth ManagementOn the International Campaign against Grand Corruption$
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J. C. Sharman

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501705519

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501705519.001.0001

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Power and Money

(p.1) Introduction
The Despot's Guide to Wealth Management

J. C. Sharman

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter discusses the concept of grand corruption or kleptocracy (“rule by thieves”). It particularly focuses on instances of corruption committed by senior public officials involving large sums of money that are held in a foreign country. There is an international moral and legal responsibility for states to prevent the proceeds of foreign corruption offenses from entering their financial systems and, to the extent that such illicit wealth does filter through, to trace, freeze, and return it to the source or “victim” country. Ultimately, the campaign against grand corruption by states, intergovernmental organizations, and NGOs is centered on an extremely delicate issue. This campaign is in tension with fundamental laws and norms of sovereign immunity, and focuses on the powerful countries that are most resistant to outside political pressure.

Keywords:   kleptocracy, grand corruption, senior public officials, foreign country, victim country, illicit wealth, sovereign immunity

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