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Accountable Actorhood – For What and to Whom?

Private Actors as Agents of the State in Risk-Based Anti-Money Laundering

Associate Professor Karin Svedberg Helgesson

​The project analyses the quest for a new accountable actorhood for private actors in the public domain. We ask how the roles of private business actors are being renegotiated and redefined when they act as agents of the state in risk-based anti-money laundering (AML). This includes an analysis of how issues of accountability for what and to whom are identified and delimited, and to what effect. What role does the private actors have in implementing AML rules and practices? And how do private actors manage possible conflicts of interest? When corporations are to act as agents of the state, an additional framework of surveillance needs to established. This raises practical concerns of how such a layer of control for AML purposes is to be constructed and managed, and through what devices. It further raises questions of how control on behalf of the public principal is to be aligned with existing business practices and the interests of customers. Empirically, the project is grounded in studies of three industries: financial services, including retail banking, accounting and auditing, and law firms.

Project Members
Professor Ulrika Mörth, Department of Political Science, Stockholm University.
Assistant Professor Ebba Sjögren, Department of Accounting, Stockholm School of Economics.

Funded by
The Ragnar Söderberg Foundation

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