Luxury and Corruption

Challenging the Anti-Corruption Consensus

Why do anti-corruption efforts routinely fail? What kind of world are they creating? Looking at luxury art, antiquities, superyachts and populist politics, this book explores the connection between luxury and corruption, and offers an alternative to the received wisdom of how we tackle corruption.

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The world has been bombarded in recent years with images of the luxurious lives and wealth of corrupt oligarchs and kleptocrats, amassed at the expense of ordinary people. Such images exploit our feelings of injustice, are taken as indicative of moral decay and inspire a desire to purge our economies of dirty money, objects and people.

But why do anti-corruption efforts routinely fail? What kind of world are they creating? Looking at luxury art, antiquities, superyachts and populist politics, this book explores the connection between luxury and corruption, and offers an alternative to the received wisdom of how we tackle corruption.

Tereza Østbø Kuldova is a Research Professor at the Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University. She is a social anthropologist and the author of six books and numerous articles. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Extreme Anthropology and of the Algorithmic Governance Research Network. She currently leads the LUXCORE project: Luxury, Corruption and Global Ethics: Towards a Critical Cultural Theory of the Moral Economy of Fraud, funded by the Research Council of Norway.

Jardar Østbø is Professor and Head of Programme for Russian Security and Defence Policy at the Institute for Defence Studies, Norwegian Defence University College. He is the author of The New Third Rome. Readings of a Russian Nationalist Myth (2016) and his articles have appeared in numerous journals. He is the leader of the international project RUSECOPOL (2019-2023) and a core researcher of the LUXCORE project.

Thomas Raymen is an Associate Professor of Criminology at Northumbria University. He is a co-founder of the Deviant Leisure Research Network, and the founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of Contemporary Crime, Harm, and Ethics. He has written or edited numerous books chapters and journal articles. Raymen is a core researcher of the LUXCORE project.

Author/Editor details at time of book publication.