Edited by Tina Søreide, University of Bergen, Norway and Aled Williams, Chr. Michelsen Ins tute (CMI), Bergen, Norway

All societies develop their own norms about what is fair behaviour and what is not. Violations of these norms, including acts of corruption, can collectively be described as forms of ‘grabbing’. This unique volume addresses how grabbing hinders development at the sector level and in state administration. The contributors – researchers and practitioners who work on the ground in developing countries – present empirical data on the mechanisms at play and describe different types of unethical practices.

The book’s sixteen case studies explore why certain practices constitute forms of grabbing, what implications they have for the achievement of development goals, and how policy options should take the characteristics of grabbing into account. A broad range of sectors are covered, including extractive industries, construction, ports, utilities, finance, health, pharmaceuticals and education. The authors discuss political checks and balances, democratic elections and the law enforcement system, as well as the government’s role in the allocation of land and as a development partner in other countries.

The volume’s original approach makes it a valuable resource for researchers and students interested in development, economics, governance and corruption. Development aid practitioners, as well as politicians and public offcials in developing countries, will find it a useful aid in their work.

Contributors: I. Amundsen, J. Andvig, T. Barasa, G. Bel, B. Chinsinga, L. Corkin, A. Estache, R. Foucart, S. Gloppen, S.-E. Helle, K. Hussman, E.G. Jansen, P. Le Billon, I. Lindkvist, J. F. Marteau, M. Poisson, G. Raballand, L. Rakner, J.C. Rivillas, I.A. Skage, A. Strand, A. Tostensen, J. Wells, L. Wren-Lewis

Informative and refreshing, these short studies from around the world provide fertile ground for discussion, analysis and positive ways forward. In this book, corrupt practices from around the world are examined by experienced practitioners and researchers who shed light on various forms of corruption.’
Adam Graycar, Australian National University

“Grabbing”, as defined by Søreide and Williams, is about more than corruption. It also includes attempts to benefit unduly at the expense of the state, including overly zealous efforts to limit taxes and regulatory costs, and to influence political choices. This fascinating collection of real-world cases, presented crisply and clearly, is organized by sector, country, political influence and international aid. It will give reformers a context for their own efforts and will help analysts trace general patterns and common pathologies.
Susan Rose-Ackerman, Yale University, US