This book offers a fresh take on a major question of global debate: what explains the rise in ecomic fraud in so many societies around the world? The author argues that the current age of fraud is an outcome of t only political-ecomic but also moral transformations that have taken place in societies reshaped by neoliberalism. Using the case of Uganda, the book traces these socio-cultural and especially moral repercussions of embedding neoliberalism. Uganda offers an important case of investigation for three reasons: the high level of foreign intervention by dors, aid agencies, international organisations, NGOs and corporations that have tried to produce the first fully-fledged market society in Africa there; the country's reputation as having adopted neoliberal reforms most extensively, and the intensification of fraud in many sectors of the ecomy since the early 2000s. The book explores the rise and operation of the neoliberal moral ecomy and its world of hard and fraudulent practices. It analyses especially the moral-ecomic character of agricultural produce markets in eastern Uganda. It shows that neoliberal moral restructuring is a highly political, contested and conflict-ridden process, predominantly works via recalibrating the political-ecomic structure of a country, and deeply affects how people think and go about earning a living and treat others with whom they do business. The book offers an in-depth, data-based analysis of the moral climate of a market society in motion and in so doing offers insights and lessons for elsewhere in the Global South and North.
Jorg Wiegratz is Lecturer in Political Economy of Global Development at the University of Leeds. He previously worked as a researcher and consultant in Uganda for the UN Industrial Development Organization, the Government of Uganda's Ministry of Trade, Tourism and Industry and the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, and a Visiting Scholar at the Economic Policy Research Centre, Kampala. He is author of Uganda's Human Resource Challenge: Training, Business Culture and Economic Development (Fountain Publishers) and co-editor of Neoliberalism and the Moral Economy of Fraud (Routledge, forthcoming). He has also published articles in New Political Economy and Review of African Political Economy.