The subjects of crime and corruption remain perennially important for social scientists concerned with the nature of power, authority, and order. Steven Pierce's Moral Economies of Corruption: State Formation and Political Culture in Nigeria and Milan Vaishnav's When Crime Pays: Money and Muscle in Indian Politics present two very different approaches to the study of crime and corruption, both rich, complex, and lucidly conveyed. As a scholar of South Asia, Kale's approach in the essay is to use insights from Pierce to reflect on the methodological and theoretical choices in Vaishnav's account of India's criminal politicians. In discussing each author's contributions, rather than providing a comprehensive account, Kale focuses on the parts of their arguments that are useful for comparative discussion.

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