Fighting Corruption in Modernity: A Literature Review

Presented here is an overview on the literature of anticorruption efforts in the modern period, starting (in Denmark’s case) in the late seventeenth century, but with much of the focus beginning in the early nineteenth century and continuing into the early twentieth. The working assumption here, informed by considerable literature on the subject, is that the modern period, and more particularly the nineteenth century, witnessed the transition of “face-to-face” forms of government, in which – by contemporary standards – corrupt practices were common, to Weberian-style bureaucracies, where rationalization, at least in those places where it was more or less consistently practiced, reduced if it did not entirely eliminate once-common forms of malfeasance.