Most often, this definition refers to the abuse of power or office for personal gain. An anti-corruption plan is a set of measures aimed at combating the criminal use of their capabilities.
If we consider the concept in a broader sense, then its essence lies in the abuse of trust. Corruption can be studied both from the side of state legislation and public opinion. In the first case, official government documents containing information about the use of power for selfish purposes and the harm caused are affected. The second option provides for a broader view of this violation from the civil society.
Corruption can manifest itself in the private, public, and third sector. If the retailer in charge of purchasing a product takes any unaccounted amount from a supplier and purchases exactly his items, regardless of quality and cost, this is considered a manifestation of private sector corruption. As a result of such actions, the store suffers, since the organization most often refuses products that are more profitable for itself. Damage can be both the lost reputation among customers due to low-quality positions, and the profit that the company has not received. In this situation, there is a clear abuse of the position occupied by the procurement manager for the purpose of personal enrichment.
Another example of the same kind of corruption is the reward of a firm that oversees the activities of another legal entity. As a result, representatives of the relying party either turn a blind eye to some violations or do not control the company's actions at all. When giving a bribe, both parties are liable.
Below is a short, video that will help you learn the essence of corruption.
What causes and develops corruption
There are several groups of factors that influence the level of offenses of a similar nature:
- organizational and economic;
- cultural and historical.
|Fundamental||The weak development of competition in the country is attributed, which also becomes the main reason for the monopolization of economic sectors. This group also includes excessive control over internal state resources by the government, as well as its interference in the country's economy. An underdeveloped judiciary, combined with a weakened civil society, has a direct impact on the growth of corruption among officials. The final touch against the background of the already listed global factors is the low level of institutions of the country's economy and poor-quality decisions made in the context of domestic policy.|
|Legal||It includes a weak and unclear legislative framework and regular amendments that make life difficult for small and medium-sized businesses. The level of corruption in the country also significantly increases the too lenient punishment for violators, which can be clearly seen in relation to bribery on a particularly large scale. If the country does not respect international law at the proper level, and someone from outside has the ability to influence the decisions made by the court, then the abuse of power will grow exponentially. Another point is the ability to interpret normative acts in two ways and find loopholes in legislation.|
|Organizational and economic||There was a low level of wages of citizens. After all, the essence of corruption is gaining personal gain. And when a person does not earn enough money, the temptation to take advantage of the situation will certainly prevail. A large territory of the country actively contributes to the occurrence of cases of corruption, which is extremely difficult to manage due to the huge distances and the bloated apparatus of officials. Selective access to infrastructure, the presence of a large number of tariffs in the field of trade, the uneven distribution of natural resources - all this makes it possible to freely use office.|
|Informational||In the first place is the lack of transparency and clarity of the public administration mechanism. When in the country, in fact, there is no freedom of the press and speech, but at the same time there are offshore companies, large officials get an excellent opportunity to commit illegal fraud and manipulate their position. The end is a complete lack of research on the very problem of growing corruption.|
|Социальные||They refer to the use of connections and cronyism to achieve certain goals, as well as the presence of an established tradition of "presenting" higher people with bribes. Corruption always goes along with the illiteracy and poor-quality education of citizens, since their attention can be easily distracted by other supposedly acute social problems.|
|Cultural and historical||Includes bureaucracy as a social norm. This also includes popular culture that popularizes corruption among the population and belittles concepts such as honor and honesty. Some scientists also include in this list and features of the development of a particular state, since history often leaves a serious imprint on the way of life of people in the future.|
Reasons for corrupt behavior
For people to break the law and abuse their capabilities, at least one of the following “levers” must be present:
- low level of legal awareness;
- loyalty of society to the facts of official crimes;
- illiteracy in relation to their own rights and responsibilities of managers;
- no fear of losing the material value received in the event of an inspection;
- a subconscious feeling of an ordinary person's own insecurity in communicating with an official;
- the presence of several options for resolving the issue with the official;
- lack of a supervisory body monitoring the behavior of a person in a high position.
If the state manages to eliminate these causes or at least significantly reduce the level of self-arbitrariness and impunity among senior officials, the number of offenses will immediately decrease. This is the anti-corruption plan.
However, one cannot look for reasons only in negative qualities of people. The use of an official position for personal gain is a systemic phenomenon. Therefore, the usual shuffling of officials simply will not give the desired effect. First of all, it is necessary to remove the very possibility of corruption behavior.
The influence of official crime on the socio-economic sphere
Corruption is a phenomenon with a pronounced negative connotation. Scientists have proven that it contributes to an increase in the number of citizens living below the poverty line. In addition, inequality between different sectors of society is growing. Corrupt officials build up capital and invest in precisely those sectors of the economy that allow them to use their positions and receive illegal income. The result is the precarious position of the state, the loss of international influence and a decrease in public confidence in the government. The economy stops growing, as finances go far not to benefit the economy.
Despite such sad conclusions, there are specialists who managed to find certain advantages in the presence of corruption. They cite the acceleration of bureaucratic procedures as an example. However, such an argument is not valid against such a massive negative impact.
Scientists from The Economist,... The magazine published a diagram that clearly shows the relationship between corruption and poverty of citizens of the state. The indicators of 2011 were taken as a basis: the human development index and the degree of progress in malpractice. As the figure shows, the weaker the corruption, the higher the indicators of education, health and general quality of life.
Varieties of abuse of power
Official misconduct has a multi-stage structure. Depending on the person enjoying his position, corruption happens:
- political (on the part of party members);
- state (in the ranks of officials at various levels);
- commercial (among employees of legal entities).
If we consider the initiators of corruption, then there are two options:
- the petitioner himself offers a "gift" in exchange for the service;
- the recipient solicits (requests) values from the interested citizen.
By the type of subject giving a “gift”, a bribe happens:
- entrepreneurial (an officially registered company acts as a petitioner);
- individual (by an individual);
- criminal (one of the participants is, for example, the drug mafia).
The level of centralization of relations splits corruption into the following types:
- centralized with the principle of "bottom up" (small ranks give part of the bribe to management);
- centralized with the principle of "top to bottom" (senior officials partially share with subordinates);
- decentralized (each has its own initiative).
The level of relations at which “mutually beneficial” obligations arise suggests such types of corruption as:
- international (level of interstate violations;
- apical (large politicians and officials close to the country's leadership);
- grassroots (the smallest shtetl posts).
The degree of regularity of bribery ties subdivides corruption as follows:
- kleptocracy (official misconduct becomes an integral part of the relations of power structures with their inherent lobbyism);
The form of the benefit also affects the type of bribe. Bribery can be carried out in money (usually in cash, so that it is impossible to track the movement of funds) or look like an exchange of certain services (nepotism or patronage).
The consequences of corruption
To summarize the result of the widespread penetration of bribery into the strata of society, I will consider three areas of public life separately. This will create a clear understanding of what the abuse of office leads to. If, of course, the government does not promptly suppress such manifestations and refuses to develop a plan to combat corruption.
|the law will cease to be the supreme regulator||sharp increase in commercial and financial risks||increasing the number of people living below the poverty line, increasing the contrast of inequality|
|democracy will cease to exist as a state system||spending resources and allocating funds will be ineffective||the government is unable to solve civil problems, as the budget is exhausted by countless “kickbacks”|
|politics instead of state development will support the oligarchic power structure||private gain will be more important than overall output||increased crime against the backdrop of complete impunity for real scammers|
|trust in the country's leadership will decrease significantly||doing business will fail from the very beginning due to greatly increased investment and time costs||increased influence from mafia structures|
|the stage of separation of society and alienation of layers from each other will begin||uncontrolled inflation and price increases||the public is losing faith in the legal capabilities of the country's leadership|
|judicial and political institutions will be ineffective||active development of shadow components of the economy, reduction of tax revenues to the budget||weaken morality|
|the prestige of the state on a global scale will drop significantly||domestic investment will decrease dramatically, leading to a worsening financial climate||the emergence of tension in society, an increasing number of rallies and mass protests|
|healthy rivalry in the political arena will disappear completely||eradicating competition in favor of monopolization|
|collapse of the current system of the country||stop the development of the state economy|
|decline in the country|
In some cases, corruption can be considered an analogue of a lubricant that accelerates economic processes, as researchers believe.
Here are a couple of examples of such an unusual development.
The foreign company plans to deploy a large-scale and rather promising energy project on the territory of a state with developed corruption. Typically, these countries have little or no rule of law and basic infrastructure. The results of the financial activities of the corporation can begin to encroach on both state-level groups and representatives of local government. And cooperation with the strongest side will provide the company with the necessary support and protection from all kinds of claims. Such a relationship is definitely not legal. However, without them, the company would be much more difficult. This is exactly what happened with the Exxon brand (the company is engaged in the extraction and transportation of energy carriers) when Angola got into its field of activity. Management had to forge links with multiple factions in order for the firm to eventually gain access to basic infrastructures. Moreover, the state itself did not have such a level of influence. As a result of the formation of new corruption relations, each received some advantages: the Exxon brand was able to function stably in Angola, and the country, in turn, received advantages for the economy.
I'll take Latin America as a second example. In most countries, companies operate exclusively in an underground regime due to the scrap cost of an official license. And bribes are indispensable in this case. However, it is much cheaper for companies to hand the “gift” to the right official than to overcome a bunch of delays. Moreover, the amount is set depending on the profitability of the business, and the contribution itself is considered completely voluntary. Susan Rose-Ackerman, who published the popular book Corruption and the State, also supports the theory of the benefits of such a relationship.
However, the exception basically only confirms the rule. The use of official position for personal enrichment to the detriment of everything else inevitably entails negative consequences. Especially when it comes to amounts of several billion, and even in foreign currency. D. Houston argues that in more developed countries than in the examples I have cited, the negative impact of breaking the law is almost 100 times stronger.
Many scholars have written works that seem like a universal panacea. But each country has its own measures to prevent the use of the post for personal gain. The action plan depends on the level of the economy, the political system, global historical events, geographical features, as well as culture and national ideas. It is worth considering in more detail several very successful projects, the creators of which perfectly caught essence of corruption.
Let's start with the plan developed in Singapore. After receiving the status of an independent state in 1965, the country immediately reached an unprecedented level of corruption. The government reacted quite smoothly and clearly:
- It all started with the strictest control over every action of officials, compliance with ethical standards and reducing bureaucratic red tape.
- The legislative framework has been tightened. At the same time, the judicial system gained high independence. Introduced severe fines for reluctance to investigate bribe cases. Many customs and other government officials were fired.
- The selection policy has also changed. Now the status of officials could get only highly qualified specialists. At the same time, the level of wages also increased significantly.
- An independent Bureau was established to investigate all reported cases of corruption. Its employees examined complaints from individuals and legal entities, and also checked all actions committed by civil servants.
Separately, I note that in addition to the standard criminal punishment, those guilty of corrupt transactions fully compensated for the bribe received. If the person did not have the opportunity to pay, then a more severe sentence awaited him. In the event of the death of the accused, all his property was confiscated to cover the loss.
Due to these actions, Singapore practically said goodbye to official crimes. According to the publication of Transparency International, the state took 4th place in the Corruption Perception Index 2008. Obviously, the political will has become the main driving force that enabled the country to deal with corruption so confidently.
I will use Sweden as a second example. In this country, the authorities have done everything to induce their people to speak out against corruption. The essence of this plan was as follows:
- justice received the status of effective and independent;
- civil servants began to receive decent salaries, which in itself precluded the appearance of an official desire to take bribes;
- the main tools were subsidies, taxes and a number of benefits for citizens;
- the level of ethical standards for officials has risen significantly;
- all internal documents of national importance have gained free access.
The effectiveness of the strategy was proven several years later. Sweden is now ranked # XNUMX in the Corruption Perception Index. And again, the main point is improving the well-being of citizens. Eradicating poverty and social equity are key to an adequate perception of morality and honesty.
The actions of these countries have found application in anti-corruption plans of other states.
If you do not go into details, then the technology "carrot and stick". Tight control must certainly be combined with a decent standard of living.
Global Anti-Corruption Movement Transparency International, evaluates and ranks countries based on how corrupt the country's public sector is. Below in the table, you can find your country and see its place in the ranking. The higher the country in the ranking, the less corrupt it is, according to Transparency International.
It is extremely difficult to completely eliminate malfeasance and bribery. However, some measures can greatly reduce the level of abuse of power. If the state is not actively trying to fight corruption, it can be assumed that it supports criminals. After all, the consequences for the country are devastating. And this will affect not only ordinary people. Everyone will suffer, including the layer of the richest citizens.
It is very important to correctly study the causes of corruption. After all, there is successful experience in other states. To restore greatness and stability to your country is quite real. One common breakthrough is needed, in which the political elite and society will participate. Otherwise, the fate of such a state is a foregone conclusion.