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Ellen Gutterman

Subsequently published in the Osgoode Hall Law Journal.

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Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Transnational Bribery, Anti-Corruption, Extraterritorial Jurisdiction, Enforcement, Global Governance


The United States has been at the forefront of international efforts to combat corruption in the global economy for almost forty years, chiefly through its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). Over the past decade, US enforcement of the FCPA has surged - both in increased numbers of enforcement actions and through the application of increasingly expansive interpretations of jurisdiction through which to enforce the FCPA on an extraterritorial basis. On one hand, extraterritorial enforcement of the FCPA has promoted anti-corruption policies and the banning of bribes abroad. At the same time, three aspects of FCPA enforcement shape and constrain the broader goals of global anti-corruption governance in ways that limit effective governance practices and meaningful anti-corruption reform in the global economy: the narrow conception of corruption upon which the FCPA is based; the strategic trade frame which underlies the FCPA’s internationalization; and the legitimacy problems these suggest.

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