Transnational Bribery: The Big Questions

Salbu, Steven R. | January 1, 2001

During the past few years, I have written extensively on the subject of transnational bribery. My articles have examined several aspects of this serious problem,’ including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”), 2 re-cent multilateral global conventions to fight bribery,3 and the comparative costs and benefits of legislative versus systemic or institutional forms of change.4 This body of work also has addressed some of the problems that can accompany aggressive legal remedies, such as potential cultural imperialism5 and global discord.6 This examination has been rewarding, and it has spurred a rich exchange with a number of very talented scholars, as the late 1990s has seen a renewed interest in legal research on the subjects of bribery and corruption. Yet detailed legal scholarship, like all highly specialized academic work, can leave us eager for more of the big picture. This Perspective reflects my own desire to take a step back from the issues I have addressed to date, and ask a basic question that may help frame some legal scholarship on bribery and corruption in the future: what are the big questions that we should be addressing in regard to these challenges as we enter the 21st century?