Illicit Financial Flows: Concepts and Definition

Musselli, Irene; Bürgi Bonanomi, Elisabeth (2020). Illicit Financial Flows: Concepts and Definition. Revue internationale de politique de développement, 12(12.1) Graduate Institute Geneva 10.4000/poldev.3296

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This article reviews and challenges some key tenets of the debate on illicit financial flows (IFFs), and articulates some lines of legal reasoning that can help to define the boundaries of what constitutes illicit flows (or not). The analysis challenges the ‘narrow’ definition of IFFs, arguing that it mis-characterises the legal terrain. It then brings much-needed clarity to the ‘broad’ definition of IFFs, by anchoring it in legal concepts, rather than ethics. The analysis tackles two further contested areas in the debate: the tension between ‘development’ and ‘legal’ approaches to IFFs, and aggregate versus disaggregate approaches under the IFF agenda. In these areas, the analysis briefly rehearses the state of the debate, questions some entrenched assumptions, and presents ideas that help to reconcile conflicting views. It bridges development and legal perspectives by firmly embedding the legal discourse in the Sustainable Development Agenda and the SDGs. It concludes with some summary observations.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

10 Strategic Research Centers > Centre for Development and Environment (CDE)

UniBE Contributor:

Musselli, Irene and Bürgi, Elisabeth

ISSN:

1663-9391

Publisher:

Graduate Institute Geneva

Projects:

[1102] Curbing IFFs from Resource-rich Developing Countries
[805] Sustainability Governance

Language:

French

Submitter:

Stephan Schmidt

Date Deposited:

29 Apr 2020 17:10

Last Modified:

12 Jul 2020 02:38

Publisher DOI:

10.4000/poldev.3296

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.141450

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/141450

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