Corruption

Adam Graycar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE TOPIC Corruption is not always criminal. Like criminal behavior, corruption hurts people and it causes outrage to victims and those who value civil society. Like criminal behavior, corruption is unethical. Corruption does not feature prominently in the criminal justice literature, and to learn about it students turn to literature in development economics, public administration, law, political science, and business studies. The criminal nature of corruption should be studied so that offender, opportunity, and target can be understood, in order that controls can be put in place. Corruption can and does occur in all spheres of activity, and in all countries. In many countries the criminal justice system is badly corrupted. In others, criminal justice activities are at the forefront of dealing with corruption. Corruption is costly and devastating. The World Economic Forum has estimated that the cost of corruption equals more than 5 percent of global GDP (about US $2.6 trillion). The World Bank has estimated that about $1 trillion per year is paid in bribes; whereas about $40 billion per year is looted by corrupt political leaders. BACKGROUND: DEFINITIONS, TRENDS, AND STATISTICS Definitions of corruption abound, but certain behaviors are broadly agreed to be corrupt, and these include bribery, theft, embezzlement, and fraud by an individual whose position or employment provides access or opportunity; extortion, again by virtue of position, abuse of discretion, creating or exploiting conflict of interest, nepotism, clientelism, and favoritism. The common characteristic in all these instances is the abuse of a formal position that involves a situation of trust.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Crime and Justice
PublisherCambridge University Press
Pages215-222
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780511762116
ISBN (Print)9780521196192
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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