COVID-19 and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program in Puerto Rico: Anti-Corruption, Fraud Prevention, and Punishment

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The US and Puerto Rican governments’ anti-corruption and anti-fraud legislation and policies exacerbated the socio-economic impacts of the coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 pandemic in Puerto Rico (PR). This article demonstrates how anti-corruption interventions prevented those in most need from receiving the economic benefits of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and other unemployment insurance benefits. Analyzing this specific instance of anti-corruption and anti-fraud interventions amid the COVID-19 pandemic allows for a deeper examination of how colonial interventions undermined PR’s capacity to handle the pandemic, exacerbated its socio-economic impact and created an unequal recovery. Thus, the article illustrates the contradictions of anti-corruption as punitive governance and the way in which a specific notion of corruption is reproduced through governmental actions, legal practices, and policies. Altogether, this article aims to contribute to the discussion on how colonial and punitive anti-corruption interventions enhance social exclusion, disproportionately harm racialized communities, and undermine people’s capacity to address period of crisis.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCritical Sociology
DOIs
StateE-pub ahead of print - 2023

Keywords

  • anti-corruption legislation
  • colonialism
  • crimes of the powerful
  • fraud
  • punitive governance
  • sociology of corruption

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science

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