Conflict of interest occurs at all levels of governance, ranging from local to global, both in the public and the corporate and financial spheres. There is increasing awareness that conflicts of interest may distort decision-making processes and generate inappropriate outcomes, thereby undermining the functioning of public institutions and markets. However, the current worldwide trend towards regulation, which seeks to forestall, prevent and manage conflicts of interest, has its price. Drawbacks may include the stifling of decision-making processes, the loss of expertise among decision-makers and a vicious circle of distrust. This interdisciplinary and international book addresses specific situations of conflict of interest in different spheres of governance, particularly in global, public and corporate governance.
Anne Peters is Professor of Public International Law and Dean of Research of the Law Faculty at the University of Basel and the vice-president of the board of the Basel Institute on Governance. She is also a member of the Council of Europe's Commission for Democracy through Law (Venice Commission) in respect of Germany and she currently serves as the president of the European Society of International Law. Lukas Handschin is Professor of Commercial, Company and Accounting Law at the University of Basel and an attorney at law in a Zurich law firm. He is also a member of the board of the Basel Institute on Governance and of the board of the Swiss Association for Sports Law.
Part I. General: 1. Conflict of interest as a cross-cutting problem of governance Anne Peters; 2. Conflict of interest from the perspective of the sociology of organised action Erhard Friedberg; 3. Empirical research on conflict of interest: a critical look Michael Davis; Part II. Global Governance: 4. Conflict of interest of international civil servants Auguste Nganga Malonga; 5. How to start thinking about conflict of interest in global governance? Rene Uruena; 6. Conflict of interest in international investment arbitration August Reinisch and Christina Knahr; 7. Conflict of interest in universal human rights bodies Michal Davala; Part III. Public Governance: 8. Conflict of interest and administrative law Jean-Bernard Auby; 9. Conflict of interest and the administration of public affairs - a local perspective Benjamin Schindler; 10. A dilemma in the separation of powers: public servants as legislators Thomas Braendle and Alois Stutzer; 11. Politicians as judges? Conflict of interest in Swiss parliament during decisions on the validity of popular initiatives Anna Christmann; 12. Private vices, public benefits? Small-town bureaucratization in Namibia Gregor Dobler; 13. Conflict of interest of heads of state: the example of Madagascar Jan Christoph Richter; Part IV. Corporate and Financial Governance and the Professions: 14. Conflict of interest: compliance and its contribution to corporate governance in the financial services sector Monika Roth; 15. Conflict of interest and the furore over banker compensation Andrew Stark; 16. Conflict of interest related to management and board payments - profit-based remuneration systems make things worse Lukas Handschin; 17. Taking conflict of interest in corporate law seriously - direct and indirect rules addressing the agency problem Rashid Bahar and Antoine Morand; 18. Conflict of interest at the bedside: surrogate decision making at the end of life Susan P. Shapiro; Part V. Conclusion: 19. Managing conflict of interest: lessons from multiple disciplines and settings Anne Peters.
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