Notes:Why are some countries corrupt and not others? This book presents an inequality trap hypothesis, complementary to Rothstein (2005), built around detailed analyses of post-communist cases and the US case (other countries less detailed). Social and economic inequality lead to generalized distrust, which breeds corruption and then in turn reinforces inequality; institutions (such as a free press, democracy or anti-corruption authorities) will not make a difference if the fundamentals (i.e. social equality) are not right. Empirically, African countries (vicious cycle) and Nordic countries (virtuous cycle) exemplify the inequality trap. Transition countries are more problematic: they are relatively equal and yet corrupt; Uslaner argues that communism has destroyed social trust, overriding the positive effect of equality. Severe anomalies are Botswana, Singapore and Hong Kong, which are highly unequal societies with generalized distrust, but still very clean; Uslaner sees geo-political threat (emanating from China and Apartheid South Africa respectively) driving these anomalies. As an implication of the theory, corruption should be sticky and Uslaner finds evidence for this in the case of the US: Public support for LaFollette’s Progressive Party candidacy in 1924 (which focused on clean government) is an excellent predictor for corruption perception today. Implication: It’s very hard to pull a country out of the inequality trap. Critique: At first Uslaner asks: Why are some countries more corrupt than others? But there is somewhat of a theoretical leap of faith to the individual level: Why do some individuals within the same country perceive the country as more corrupt than others? Without much theorizing Uslaner posits that individual perception of corruption are explained by individual perception of inequality, not objective inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient.