Erik Wångmar’s book on corruption presents an astonishingly thorough and methodical historical analysis of five corruption cases set in the world of Swedish local politics, i.e. on a municipal level. While impressive in its laboriously scope, archival accuracy and extensive time frame, the book does not counterbalance this empirical focus with an equally rewarding theoretical analysis and development.
[…] the limits set by civilization can dictate the conditions without which it could not exist. But it is enough for it to dictate them rather often. If the situation appears clear, it is as if the limits were there to be transgressed. (Bataille, 1991: 220)
The world is waging war on corruption. Accompanying this war, there is also a growing academic interest in corruption. This research, however, has tended to operate with a nearly undisputed understanding of what corruption is and how to fight it. It has refrained from theorizing corruption, possibly as a consequence of the perceived urgency involved in identifying, raising awareness about and fighting corruption. This special issue of ephemera seeks to re-emphasize the relevance and importance of theorizing corruption.
Issue Editors: Thomas Taro Lennerfors, Eric Breit and Lena Olaison