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Centripetal and Centrifugal Corruption in Post-democratic Italy

Donatella della Porta, Salvatore Sberna and Alberto Vannucci

Keywords: EXPO 2015; JUDICIAL INQUIRIES; MOSE; POST-DEMOCRACY; PUBLIC CONTRACTS; SYSTEMIC CORRUPTION

This chapter examines two episodes of large-scale corruption that erupted in 2014: the procurements process for the MOSE tidal barrier project, which is intended to surround and protect Venice, and the contracts signed in the run-up to Expo 2015 in Milan. The chapter shows how networks of corruption have survived the “clean hands” scandal of the early 1990s and thrive in a world of neo-liberal policies that promote privatization, deregulation, and liberalization. These policies have not led to a reduction in corruption; rather, they have shifted governance structures toward private figures who, in the name of the free market, often end up with better opportunities to corrupt or to be corrupted.

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