Collective action initiatives in which governments and companies make anti-corruption commitments have proliferated in recent years.

This apparently prosocial behavior defies the logic of collective action and, given that bribery often goes undetected and unpunished, is not easily explained by principal-agent theory. Club theory suggests that the answer lies in the institutional design of anti-corruption clubs: collective action can work as long as membership has high entry costs, members receive selective benefits, and compliance is adequately policed.

Recent corruption scandals have shown the negative effects that corruption may have in countries around the world, including those of the Latin American and Caribbean region. The Inter-American Development Bank has therefore convened an independent group of experts composed by eight governance and anti-corruption scholars and practitioners to identify innovative and effective approaches to combat corruption in the region.

Collective Action is becoming increasingly popular as a tool to help solve some of the more difficult and systemic aspects of bribery. It also plays an important role for peer companies keen to ensure a level playing field when acquiring new business.

Lawyers can help their clients to identify, join or initiate new forms of Collective Action because the opportunities and scope are so broad and flexible. There is the potential therefore to find something suitable for all companies wherever they operate in the world. 

An important factor for success in anti-corruption Collective Action is that it should be a business-driven endeavour. That being said, the role of civil society must be recognised for its important contributions towards successful multi-stakeholder approaches against corruption.

This article from the Spring 2016 edition of Ethical Boardroom magazine looks at how building a strong coalition with civil society puts business on the front foot.

The book explores the origins of Collective Action in worldwide anti-corruption efforts. It gives examples of initiatives that have worked and it acknowledges the challenges to Collective Action openly.

It goes on to identify possible outcomes and discusses methodologies for future initiatives; it considers particular techniques for achieving Collective Action, like monitoring.

Finally, it indicates the next steps for policy-makers.

The art trade market is global, highly fragmented and complex, involving a great variety of operators. In light of this complexity, the current level of regulation and existing compliance efforts by individual operators has proven to be insufficient. With some competitors engaged in unethical or illegal behaviour, operating profitably while acting with integrity and ethics is increasingly difficult.

Helping SMEs do business with integrity: UK government-subsidised guidance services in anti-corruption compliance, prevention and Collective Action

The Basel Institute is providing anti-corruption guidance services to SMEs as part of the UK government's pioneering Business Integrity Initiative. 

Subsidised by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) for eligible SMEs, the guidance services are focused on: