Political Corruption Review Example

The international system to getwitnessed dramatic changes in the recent past. Questions They were talking about how has Yuanyuan, how and daughter, into a relating toFan Xiaoli’swhen ordinary citizens can stand against oppression, injustice, and prestigious junior high school in Guangzhou, abuse without resorting to violence challenge all of us to rethink our understanding of China. When test results were released in academicians, educators, practitioners, private international peace and conflict.

AsmidJuly, Yuanyuan did not do what is our citizens, and students, well enough torole in this increasingly complex global picture? What meet the school’s entrance requirements. can we do to nurture and preserve international security and world peace? Xiaoli was as disappointed as her daughter. She thing is certain. We must make sure our learners and educators have access to the Onethen decided, as many Chinese people in the same situation do, to try to about the issues surrounding peace, justice, freedom, and best available information find someone who could help.

Through a colleague, she got security. Our country’s future depends upon their interest in and understanding of these to know a Mr. topics. In the belief that complicated Yang, who claimed to know knowledge of these issues is vital to civic education, “some decision-maker in government” and we have developed this study guide to expand our readers’ perspectives and knowledge said he could help get the girl admitted to the of someXiaoli paidof international peace and conflict. school if aspects him 70,000 yuan (US$10,257).

“I know it is corruption,” Xiaoli said, “but it Study Guide About theworks and everybody is willing to do it if they can afford the money. ” She paid the money and by mid-August, Yuanyuan got This study guide is designed to serve an offer from the school. independent learners who want to find out “It is about international sister because morenot so bad a deal for my conflict and its she wants her daughter as well as educators possible resolution, to go to the school and she can afford who seek to the money,” these topics into their introduce Fan Dayi said, “but it is sad for the people in this country.

There is curricula. The main text of each guide briefly too much corruption. Nominally, we have all discusses the most important issues kinds of laws, regulations and responsible concerning in reality, onlyat hand, especially officials, but the subject money and those that are related to the critical task of guangxi (nepotism or relations) work when managing conflicts and building international people want something done in this society. ” peace. The Corruption Notebooks, 2008 Global Integrity Other features of each study guide include: • • •

A glossary to help the reader build vocabulary essential to the discussions about the topic. Discussion questions and activities to encourage critical thinking and active learning. A list of readings and multimedia resources for additional investigation and learning opportunities. This guide is a brief summary of the key issues surrounding the issue of governance and corruption. Please do not use the guide as a reference in your essay or as a bibliographic citation. We encourage you to consult the references listed in the resource section and in the notes.

These resources may be included as references in your bibliography. It is our hope that citizens around the world will find the contents of the study guide useful as they strive to deepen their understanding of international peace and conflict. © 2010 by the Endowment of the United States Institute of Peace. All rights reserved. Study Guide Series on Peace and Conflict 2 Governance, Corruption, and Conflict About the United States Institute of Peace The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress.

Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent conflicts, promote post-conflict peacebuilding, and increase conflict management tools, capacity, and intellectual capital worldwide. The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by its direct involvement in conflict zones around the globe. Board of Directors • • • • • • • • • • J. Robinson West (Chair), Chairman, PFC Energy, Washington, D. C. George E. Moose (Vice Chair), Adjunct Professor of Practice, The George Washington University, Washington, D. C. Anne H.

Cahn, Former Scholar in Residence, American University, Washington, D. C. Chester A. Crocker, James R. Schlesinger Professor of Strategic Studies, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington, D. C. Kerry Kennedy, Human Rights Activist Ikram U. Khan, President, Quality Care Consultants, LLC. , Las Vegas, Nev. Stephen D. Krasner, Graham H. Stuart Professor of International Relations at Stanford University Jeremy A. Rabkin, Professor of Law, George Mason University, Arlington, Va. Judy Van Rest, Executive Vice President, International Republican Institute, Washington, D.

C. Nancy Zirkin, Executive Vice President, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, Washington, D. C. Members Ex Officio • James N. Miller, Principal Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Policy • Michael H. Posner, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor • Ann E. Rondeau, Vice Admiral, U. S. Navy; President, National Defense University • Richard H. Solomon, President, United States Institute of Peace (nonvoting) Contact United States Institute of Peace Education and Training Center/ Domestic Programs 1200 17th Street NW Washington, DC 20036 www.

usip. org [email protected] org Study Guide Series on Peace and Conflict 3 Governance, Corruption, and Conflict 1. Introduction Note to students who are planning to enter the National Peace Essay Contest: The international community has been paying increasing attention to corruption and how to control it. For one thing, international institutions, governments, donors, aid workers, and peacebuilders all realize that corruption has very high costs for society, but particularly in states emerging from conflict.

Not only can corruption keep states in cycles of violence by funding armed groups and criminal networks, but it can also prevent the development of effective institutions of governance. When money and resources available to government are diverted by corrupt officials instead of being channeled for the benefit of citizens, the clock turns back on social and economic development. This, in turn, can create further instability. In these ways, corruption, governance, and conflict are all linked.

But, corruption exists everywhere in some form and can be pervasive in some societies. Rooting it out is more difficult than it would seem. Alexis Sinduhije, candidate for president in Burundi’s 2010 elections, talked of the link between corruption and human rights: Corruption “Crime and corruption are deeply rooted in many countries, including Burundi…. In such countries, corruption sustains crime, while criminal acts protect the corrupt. In Burundi, the 2. state commits crimes against humanity, despite the fact that we are now supposedly a democracy at peace.

Each day, at least 20 people are assassinated for political reasons-— more Is Corruption? What deaths than during our 12 years of civil war. And most such deaths today are fueled by corruption. Crime and corruption reign in poor countries, where there is little international interest in studies it it. In my country, the global community prefers to Almost everyone whoeradicating would agree that corruption is difficult to define and maintain the semblance of peace rather a high-level the violent abuse of basic human nearly impossible to measure.

When than address government official steals millions of rights. dollarsIn other corrupt, crime-ridden states, rich natural easy to identify that aslocations for his/her own personal gain, it’s relatively resources and strategic corruption. serve as a protection from scrutiny or action. Global cartels also support crime and But, what if your neighbor gave preferential treatment to a friend or relative in her corruption–working to protect their own kind even when it is not in the best interests of the business dealings? Isof the corruption?

What if a parentis how the leaders of countries in broad population. One that most striking examples of this made a donation to a school order to prevent theprotect Presidentchild? What if you live in a conflict-ravaged country bordering Zimbabwe expulsion of a Robert Mugabe from the accusations of “colonial where food supply iscycle of crimeyou pay the officials a little bit of money under the table powers”—feeding the limited and and corruption. ” to get extra rations to feed your hungry family? Corruption exists at many different levels.

And, some would argue that a Question: Howcorruption is impossible because it isand As quoted in “The Big definition for Can Nations Break the Cycle of Crime a concept that is culturally determined and varies from one society to (March 22, 2010). Corruption? ” in World Policy Journal another. For example, gift-giving to officials may be expected in one country and prohibited by law in another. For the purpose of this guide, corruption involves the misuse of power by those who hold it—people who, in their official position, exploit the power with which they are entrusted by seeking private gain.

The private gain obtained by corrupt public officials, who have been entrusted with guiding and implementing public policy and service, is at the expense of both the common good and of those who don’t “cheat the system. ” In this sense, corruption is widely viewed as an immoral practice and is increasingly condemned around the world. Even those compelled to participate in corrupt systems in order to survive are frequently fed up with the role that corruption may play in their daily lives. Corruption creates a system whereby money and connection determines who has access to public services and who receives favorable treatment.

Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the Study Guide Series on Peace and Conflict 4 Governance, Corruption, and Conflict United Nations, put the cost of corruption succinctly in his Foreword to the 2004 United Nations Convention Against Corruption. Calling corruption an “insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies,” he added that it diverts funds intended for development, undermines the ability of governments to provide basic services, feeds inequalities and injustice, and discourages foreign aid investment.

”1 These practices have particular repercussions in countries emerging from conflict because monies that are needed for development of, for example, roads, utilities, education, health care, and transportation, are diverted by greed and desire to survive and get ahead in a broken system. Corruption can reach many levels and aspects of governance and span a range in its scale. Corruption that involves the public interacting directly with low- or mid-level bureaucrats who implement policies is known as “petty corruption.

” A health inspector taking money from a restaurant owner to give a passing inspection is an example of petty corruption. “Grand corruption,” in contrast, involves high-ranking public officials or politicians who influence policies and rules. They can influence policy to give businesses unfettered access to natural resources, or help pass laws or regulations that are in the interest of those who are willing to pay. In unstable countries, another form of grand corruption occurs when politicians buy votes in order to get elected and, once in office, engage in corrupt practices to cement their rule.

And, even in stable democracies, it is not uncommon for legislators to use their positions of power to reward their financial supporters with favors, the awarding of contracts, or the drafting of new laws. Poor regulation over “the flow of private money into election campaigns and political party coffers” is the “number one governance challenge around the world,” notes the watchdog group Global Integrity in its 2008 report. 2 5 Governance, Corruption, and Conflict

“I Miss Mao” by Xiao Chi An “I have good news,” Fan Xiaoli told her brother, Fan Dayi, on the phone one day in August 2008 (the family’s names have been changed). “I’ve finally found someone who can help us to send Yuanyuan to the school. ” They were talking about how to get Yuanyuan, Fan Xiaoli’s daughter, into a prestigious junior high school in Guangzhou, China. When test results were released in midJuly, Yuanyuan did not do well enough to meet the school’s entrance requirements. Xiaoli was as disappointed as her daughter.

She then decided, as many Chinese people in the same situation do, to try to find someone who could help. Through a colleague, she got to know a Mr. Yang, who claimed to know “some decision-maker in government” and said he could help get the girl admitted to the school if Xiaoli paid him 70,000 yuan (US$10,257). “I know it is corruption,” Xiaoli said, “but it works and everybody is willing to do it if they can afford the money. ” She paid the money and by mid-August, Yuanyuan got an offer from the school.

“It is not so bad a deal for my sister because she wants her daughter to go to the school and she can afford the money,” Fan Dayi said, “but it is sad for the people in this country. There is too much corruption. Nominally, we have all kinds of laws, regulations and responsible officials, but in reality, only money and guangxi (nepotism or relations) work when people want something done in this society. ” The Corruption Notebooks, 2008 Global Integrity Study Guide Series on Peace and Conflict What Are the Costs of Corruption?

There are many economic and social costs associated with corruption, not to mention links to criminal operations and violence. On the financial front, the World Bank has attempted to attach a monetary figure to the extent of bribery (which does not include the embezzlement of public funds or the theft of public assets). Based on worldwide economic data compiled in 2001-2002, the World Bank estimated that the amount of money paid in bribes globally was some $1 trillion. 3 In part because of how it affects access to public services, corruption particularly impacts the poor.

“Corruption is costing the developing world billions of dollars every year,” indicates the UN Development Program. “It siphons off scarce resources and diminishes a country’s prospects for development. In a country where corruption is endemic, the consequences are disproportionately borne by the poor who have no resources to compete with those able and willing to pay bribes. In the end, corruption tightens the shackles of poverty on countries that can least afford it, on societies that need every dollar to pay for important social and economic programs.

”4 Economic development is difficult in countries where corruption undermines the development of fair market structures and distorts competition. And, corruption often leads to the diversion of Aspects of Corruption scarce public resources to uneconomic high-profile There are many terms that are used in projects, such as big office discussing corruption. Bribery, fraud, complexes and shopping embezzlement, nepotism, and favoritism are centers, to the exclusion of some commonly used terms.

Bribery, an necessary infrastructure projects offering of something of value for some action such as schools, hospitals, in return, is one example of corruption. Other water treatment plants, and terms associated with corruption include fraud roads. Ultimately, corruption (using a trusted position to deceive for profit), benefits the “haves” at the embezzlement (the theft of government expense of the “have-nots,” resources by those in authority), and which can lead to growing nepotism (favoritism shown to friends of economic and social relatives by those in power).

While corruption inequalities. can include all of these terms, it is not just Another societal cost is that corruption is linked to the development of organized crime, including the involvement of criminal syndicates in money laundering and trafficking in people and drugs. In Colombia, for example, narcotics trafficking is the source of much of the country’s corruption at high levels. Alliances exist between politicians and the illegal armed groups that make money off of a lucrative trade in cocaine, and Study Guide Series on Peace and Conflict financial gain; there can also be political and legal gains that often include exclusive access to decisionmakers and political and legal authorities. Favoritism is practiced widely, but when there is no exchange of money, it is not legally considered bribery.

A favor is simply expected in return at some later stage. It may be a favor granted in return for political support or an appointment to a position. Such preferential treatments given to friends, relatives, or business partners are very common in some cultures, but some argue that such practices undermine the concept of fair play.