Concepts, costs, causes and challenges

Authored by: Sirkku K. Hellsten

Routledge Handbook of Development Ethics

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138647909
eBook ISBN: 9781315626796
Adobe ISBN:


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Corruption is a global problem. No country nor politico-economic system in history has been free from it, despite all efforts to combat corruption. Today corruption is a serious challenge to development, particularly in poor countries and in transitional societies struggling for democratic governance. In the era of globalization, corrupt political and business networks seem to be increasing in size and numbers across the globe. From the point of view of development ethics, corruption is a complex and multidimensional issue with various ethical, social, economic and political aspects. This chapter is an overview of some of the main debates that appear in studies and discussions on corruption, development and ethics. I introduce the problems in defining corruption before taking a brief look at the costs of corruption. Then I reflect on the relationship between corruption and culture, as well as between corruption and politico-economic systems. Finally I discuss some of the challenges related to anti-corruption efforts.

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