Rising Powers and Interdependent Futures

In a podcast interview, Simon Deakin, Director of the Centre for Business Research (CBR), and Professor of Law at the University of Cambridge, has said that he is optimistic that the developing economies in the BRICS will find new ways to facilitate how business is conducted and will over time reduce the role of corruption in their economies.

Following a CBR, University of Cambridge, Workshop on Law and Finance in Rising Powers, Professor Deakin said:

“I am trying to be both optimistic and realistic. It is of tremendous importance not just for the BRICS but for the West that we do not see a race to the bottom. In the West we have a social norm that we don’t bribe officials, but in countries where there is a social norm to bribe an official to get somewhere, that is a very different world. We take for granted that by and large there is a very low level of corruption in our society and when we see corruption in the west we try and stop it. We must continue to take that line and we must encourage campaigns against corruption in all relevant contexts. However, we have to realise that corruption arises where there isn’t a functioning rule of law, so we can’t afford to preach to the BRICS; we need to help them to establish the appropriate laws and processes.”

“We have to take the view that transitioning from a clan based system and an authoritarian based system, such as China and Russia had, to one based on democracy and the rule of law, is a very difficult process and admit that we don’t fully understand how that process works. We have great models which explain how the free market works but this is where it is already established, where there is already a rule of law. We don’t yet have a convincing model of moving from one system to another. We need social science to help inform us in our policy making.” 

Listen to the full interview with Simon Deakin

More podcasts from the workshop on Law and Finance in Rising Powers,
Centre for Business Research, University of Cambridge, December 9th 2014