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Anti-corruption in HistoryFrom Antiquity to the Modern Era$
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Ronald Kroeze, André Vitória, and Guy Geltner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809975.001.0001

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The Problem of the Personal

The Problem of the Personal

Tackling Corruption in Later Medieval England, 1250–1550

(p.91) 6 The Problem of the Personal
Anti-corruption in History

John Watts

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts by linking corruption with what the author calls the “gray areas of public life” (or the ambiguity between public and private resulting from power-sharing and the competition of personal interests) and explains why they were complicated by the growth of royal government and the rules it produced. The chapter then moves on to describe the two main types of corruption in the period and examines the measures used to address them and how they changed over time. Finally, the chapter argues that corruption crises and the anticorruption measures they engendered were a simplification, at once a reflection of the deep malfunction of the political system and an opportunity to relieve the tensions that threatened political order.

Keywords:   corruption, anticorruption, gray areas, public life, overmighty, Henry VI, medieval

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