Political Corruption in a World in Transition

Jonathan Mendilow, Éric Phélippeau (Eds.). Chapter Author, Paulina Alvarado-Goldman.
This book argues that the mainstream definitions of corruption, and the key expectations they embed concerning the relationship between corruption, democracy, and the process of democratization, require reexamination. Even critics who did not consider stable institutions and legal clarity of veteran democracies as a cure-all assumed that the process of widening the influence on government decision-making and implementation allows non-elites to defend their interests, define the acceptable sources and uses of wealth, and demand government accountability. This had proved correct, especially insofar as ‘petty corruption’ is involved. But the assumption that corruption necessarily involves the evasion of democratic principles and a ‘market approach’ in which the corrupt seek to maximize profit does not exhaust the possible incentives for corruption, the types of behaviors involved (for obvious reasons, the tendency in the literature is to focus on bribery), or the range of situations that ‘permit’ corruption in democracies. In the effort to identify some of the problems that require recognition, and to offer a more exhaustive alternative, the chapters in this book focus on corruption in democratic settings (including NGOs and the United Nations which were largely so far ignored), while focusing mainly on behaviors other than bribery.  

Corruption and Governmental Legitimacy: A Twenty-First Century Perspective 

Jonathan Mendilow (Editor, Contributor), Ilan Peleg (Editor), Paulina Alvarado-Goldman (Chapter Author)
This volume considers corruption as a multidimensional, complex phenomenon in which various forms of corruption may overlap at any given time. Extending the seemingly paradoxical notion of “legal corruption” to such settings as the USA, Spain, and the Czech Republic, the book seeks to augment our understanding of corruption in democracies by focusing on conduct that is considered by large segments of the population to be corrupt even though they are not explicitly defined as such by the law or the governing elites. Such behaviors are not often captured by corruption perception indexes or identified by scholars who regard corruption as a single category—usually restricted to bribery. However, they are liable to incur a heavy price both in terms of trust in specific governments and in general system support. As illustrated by developments in Spain, the Czech Republic, and the corrosive presidential campaign of 2016 in the USA, these actions are liable to endanger both the quality and actual viability of democratic orders. This volume looks into the possibilities of legal reforms and anticorruption campaigns aiming to correct the consequences of such corruption on government legitimacy. A comparison between the anticorruption campaigns in the competitive authoritarian context of Russia and the fully authoritarian setting of China helps to identify both the difficulties and the possibilities of such efforts in democratic regimes.