The political economy of corruption and lobbying: A Bourdieusian insight into the UK’s Greensill scandal

Project: Research

Project Details


Self-interested actors often attempt to influence the decisions of government and regulators in their favour through lobbying and corrupt practices. The objective of this study is to provide a Bourdieusian insight on a corruption and lobbying scandal in the UK involving an ex-prime minister (Mr David Cameron) who drew on his political capital to influence the decision of the UK government to provide Covid funding to rescue Greensill Capital in which he had significant financial interest. Bourdieusian concepts of field, habitus and capitals are used to provide an understanding of how key players played within the rules of the game to avoid liability when investigated by the Public Accounts Committee. Understanding corruption is especially important because corruption undermines governments ability to efficiently respond to emergencies, such as the dual economic and health crises brought about by Covid 19. This study contributes to corruption in developed countries literature, by focusing on the UK context, which seemingly has a robust institutional infrastructure but has been criticized for drowning in institutional and political sleaze (Sikka 2021). This study highlights that the presence of revolving doors between the public sector and private sector compromises public accountability by benefiting a limited number of elites.
Effective start/end date1/02/2231/12/22


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