Graffiti on the fence surrounding the construction site of the new European Central Bank headquarters in Frankfurt, October 2013.
Kai Pfaffenbach/ Courtesy Reuters

Corruption is one of the world’s hottest topics. Four decades ago, only about 25 to 30 English-language books on the issue appeared every year; that number increased to more than 400 today. A Google search for the word “corruption” produces more than 45.7 million results, compared with just 26.4 million for “terrorism.” The Corruption Perceptions Index, an annual ranking published by the watchdog group Transparency Internatio­nal, has become one of the world’s most cited reference sources. Yet despite all this attention, no adequate solutions to the problem have come to light.

Meanwhile, corruption has become a major threat to the global economic

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