Rationalizing Corruption



Theory is a most capricious muse. It seems to have grasped the reality in some overwhelming way, but the latter“escapes”even most sophisticated conceptual frameworks sooner or later. A look at the theoretical heritage on corruption offered in the last decades refers back to old Merton (the managerial aspects of state and corporate bodies interrelations), feeds on some rest-Parson social system constructivism, or even overrides some empirical sociologist fundamentalism (Habermass or Luhman). Comparative studies as“The Causes and Consequences of Corruption: A Review of Recent Empirical Contributions”of Ades, A. and R. D. Telia (1996) might be exemplary in this respect. The civic culture (Almond and Verba) theoretical approach — in so far as trust in institutions and/or the co-patriot still count among the parameters of corruptive behaviour, might also be mentioned here. The historical cultural approach —represented by Gramsci, but also modern historians engaged in revision of some state building tradition as cultural process (Asch, 2004) could also be ranged here. We cannot omit established researchers in the field as M. Khan (2005). In an extended annotated bibliography he considered corruption as related to it numerous indicators. Most of these publications, offer no discussion on the concept or some“general theory of corruption”. They prefer instead to“upgrade”empirical literature on corruption, which uses most often subjective indices and less consistent survey data. The results are most often bravely presented as contributions to understanding the“causes of corruption”and/or the theories on its consequences.


World Value Survey World Economic Forum Private Gain Corruption Index Corruptive Behaviour 
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© VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

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