Corruption is generally referred to as bribery. This books deals with a different form of corruption: corruption caused by networks. Network corruption is the form of corruption in which the interaction of multiple actors within a social network results in corruption but in which the individual behaviour as such is not necessarily corrupt. The main reason for this research is that a gap appears to exist in the available theories on corruption: very little research is available on corruption by a network, nor does the network theory thoroughly discuss the risks or pitfalls of networks or how such a collective can become corrupt. As such this books offers a ‘new layer’ by clearly defining what distinguishes network corruption from corruption networks. The other reason for this research is the observation that policies and investigations appear to be limited in dealing with corruption in network-like structures.
This book deals with the question how corruption is linked to the functioning of social networks. The available literature of both corruption and networks was reviewed. Some theories support the idea of collective acting and collective responsibility which can be used in cases of corruption by a network. The conceptual analysis results in one assessment frame which helps in distinguishing when networks are a form of social capital and when they deteriorate into corruption. The assessment frame was applied to three case studies from developed western societies in which corruption was brought in connection with a network (the international FIFA case, the News of the World International phone-hacking scandal from the United Kingdom and the Dutch city of Roermond). This allowed for a better understanding of the mechanisms and characteristics of networks. The findings on the link between networks and corruption gained from this book call for alternative routes for policy development and for a greater network awareness. This book concludes with policy recommendation and ways to ensure networks remain the essential Social Capital needed in our society.