Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Condensation to Cosh » Corruption - Corruption, Civic Republicanism, And Republican Historiography, Political Corruption, Other Contexts, Conclusion, Bibliography

Corruption - Conclusion

political press university american

How might we explain the widespread appeal of discourses on corruption? The truth likely remains somewhere deep within the individual and collective dynamics by which people attempt to come to grips with change in their lives, and to construct a meaningful narrative connection between past, present, and future. The power of corruption rhetoric seems to lie in its recognition of the inherent fragility of all human endeavor—indeed, of human bodies. Talking in terms of corruption, for civic republicans, often makes sense of a host of social changes by placing them into a coherent, purposive, and meaningful frame of reference, highlighting past glories, and spurring audiences on to greater things in the future. Corruption accounts, like all political speech, are inherently partial and moralistic, but they are also extremely effective in pointing to the price paid for progress, be it technological, political, or economic. When Adam Smith (1723–1790) boasted, in his Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776) that the poorest English laborer lives in material comfort undreamed of by an African king, Rousseau was there to ask about the price paid for this economic "progress," using the language of corruption to frame and reinforce his critique.

But is corruption, however variously defined, always to be lamented? A few scholars have ventured the hypothesis that corruption is necessary, though indeed not sufficient, for such tasks as the smooth operation of an economy. Business practices routinely denounced as "corrupt" may serve a variety of extremely important social and economic functions. Such a view, overtly or not, hearkens back to Bernard Mandeville's (1670–1733) famous dictum that private vices yield public benefits.


Dobel, J. Patrick. "Corruption of a State." American Political Science Review 72 (1978): 958–973.

Heidenheimer, A. J., ed. Political Corruption: Readings in Comparative Analysis. New York: Holt, Reinhart, and Winston, 1970.

Heywood, Paul, ed. Political Corruption. Oxford: Blackwell, 1997.

Khaldun, Ibn. An Arab Philosophy of History: Selections from the Prolegomena of Ibn Khaldun of Tunis. Translated and arranged by Charles Issawi. London: Murray, 1950.

Nye, Joseph S. "Corruption and Political Development: A Cost-Benefit Analysis." American Political Science Review 61 (1967): 417-427.

Pocock, J. G. A. The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1975.

Rose-Ackerman, Susan. Corruption: A Study in Political Economy. New York: Academic Press, 1978.

——. Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences, and Reform. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Wood, Gordon S. The Creation of the American Republic, 1776–1789. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press, 1969.

Andrew R. Murphy

Corruption - Bibliography [next] [back] Corruption - Other Contexts

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

iam supporter of desh premi who give their life for us ......

i am stricly against corruption..........

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

anna hazear i am

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

As you know most of the communities (such as Bengali) in the entire Indian sub-continent are covered by ‘Culture of Poverty’ (Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody genuinely condemn or ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-governance, bad work place, weak mother language, continuous consumption of common social space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold(supported by some lame excuses). Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent & caring society, fearless & dignified living. Simply pushing persons for a nasty survival. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative values to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately stop giving birth to any child him/herself till the society improves up to the mark, co-parenting children those are born out of extreme poverty, instead. All of us are driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever desires genuine freedom from vicious cycle of poverty, need to involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’(Henri Lefebvre), an intense attachment with the society at large to overcome inherent ‘hopeless’ mindset, decent Politics would certainly come up. – SB, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah -711101, India.