U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Token of Gratitude?: A Morally Ambiguous Case of Bribery

NCJ Number
Journal of Scandinavian Studies in Criminology and Crime Prevention Volume: 7 Issue: 1 Dated: 2006 Pages: 3-22
Katarina Jacobsson
Date Published
20 pages
This report examines a Swedish court case of bribery and how the people involved constructed and argued their particular version, illustrating moral uncertainty.
In a Swedish bribery case, the parties involved included a male lawyer charged with bribery, a female court clerk for whom the bribe or gift was intended, and the prosecutor who handled the case. “Web accounts” were used to deal with several aspects on how people involved argued their particular version: (1) definitions of the event itself; (2) comparisons with similar or dissimilar events; (3) comparisons with other people’s behavior; and (4) explanations of motives. Also, presentations of one’s moral quality were intrinsically integrated in the various versions. Two perspectives are constructed: the right or legal way and the human way. In Sweden, laws on bribery bring about a particular rhetoric. These cases are morally ambiguous crimes and require even more explanation, since they are not self-explanatory. This paper illustrates moral ambiguity through the analysis of a bribery case, specifically petty bribery. It is suggested that different versions of an event are constructed rhetorically. References


No download available