Steven R. Salbu

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This Article challenges the wisdom of extraterritorial legislation as a means of fighting the very serious problem of global corruption. The Article begins by examining the concept of the "global village," refining it into two distinct subclasses--a descriptive global village and a normative global village. While the world can be described as moving closer toward unavoidable interdependency as a result of technological advancements, we do not yet embrace or come close to embracing a single set of norms, values, and beliefs. In this culturally diverse world, extraterritorially applied legislation cannot avoid the possibility of over-intrusion. In regard to bribery, the risks of overstepping are particularly pronounced, due to the subtlety of distinctions between acceptable and unacceptable gifts, favors, benefits, and hospitality. Within this context, the global initiatives that are persuading nations to adopt extraterritorial anti-bribery legislation are inadvisable. The greater the number of nations monitoring activities in other nations, the greater the opportunities for misconstruing behaviors and alienating sovereign ties and their peoples. Avoidance of overly aggressive extraterritorial tactics does not require the world to submit to defeat in the war against bribery. Global persuasion rather than extraterritorial edict can be used to encourage each nation to adopt rigorous domestic anti-bribery legislation, enforce that legislation with vigilance, and employ monitoring and control mechanisms to encourage transactional transparency and reduce opportunities for corruption to flourish. In this manner, the world can move voluntarily toward a consensual convergence of values.

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