corruption essay with quotes

10 quotes about corruption and transparency to inspire you

From jennifer lawrence to pope francis, many have expressed their ideas about corruption and its devastating effects. here are some notable examples..

Transparency Int’l

Transparency Int’l

Voices for Transparency

1.“We need to tell each other our stories. We need to show that everyone — our neighbors, our families, our community leaders — everyone we know is touched by corruption.” — Jennifer Lawrence, actress.

When did she say it? JLaw made that comment in a post on Facebook after seeing a video from the US organisation . Recently, the actress announced that she would be taking some time off to work with that organization in order to get young people engaged politically on a local level. We find that inspiring.

2. “Without strong watchdog institutions, impunity becomes the very foundation upon which systems of corruption are built. And if impunity is not demolished, all efforts to bring an end to corruption are in vain. “ — Rigoberta Menchú, Nobel Prize laureate.

When did she say it? This quote is included in the Global Corruption Report 2001 where the activist wrote a section called “ The plague of corruption: overcoming impunity and injustice ”.

3. “Integrity, transparency and the fight against corruption have to be part of the culture. They have to be taught as fundamental values.” — Angel Gurría, OECD secretary general.

When did he say it? At the forum “ Planet Integrity: Building a Fairer Society ” which happened last March 2018. You can find his quote in this video.

4. “People’s indifference is the best breeding ground for corruption to grow” — Delia Ferreira, chair of Transparency International.

When did she say it? Delia said this in an interview with the Argentinian newspaper Clarín back in January 2018. You can find the original article in Spanish here.

5. “Corruption is paid by the poor” — Pope Francis.

When did he say it? Pope Francis said this in a morning mass in the Vatican back in 2014.

6. “The duty of youth is to challenge corruption” — Kurt Cobain, Nirvana

When did he say it? Full transparency here. While this quote is largely attributed to the leader of Nirvana, we haven’t found a source to prove it. Never mind, as Professor Lawrence Lessig said : “ whatever he meant, embrace his words. It is your duty to challenge this corruption.”

7. “People should be conscious that they can change a corrupt system” — Peter Eigen, founder of Transparency International.

When did he say it? In August 2011 during a meeting of former students of the Austral University. You can watch the video here .

8. “None of the main issues which humanity is facing will be resolved without access to information” — Christophe Deloire, secretary general of Reporters Without Borders.

When did he say it? We spotted this quote on this video recorded at the UNESCO IPDC talks back in June 2017.

9. “There are still those of us who work to overcome corruption and believe it to be possible” — Padmé Amidala, Star Wars.

When did she say it? Corruption is a recurrent topic in movies as we have explored in other articles and it does not limit to our galaxy. She pronounced this quote in the television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars in an episode called “ Corruption ”.

10. “ Corruption is a cancer, a cancer that eats away at a citizen’s faith in democracy, diminishes the instinct for innovation and creativity.” — Joe Biden, former vice president of the United States.

When did he say it? In a meeting in Bucharest with Romanian civil society groups and students back in May 2014.

We hope these quotes inspired you. Is there another quote about corruption or transparency we have missed? Share it with us here or in a tweet! You can find us as @anticorruption .

Transparency Int’l

Written by Transparency Int’l

Transparency International is the global coalition fighting against corruption. Follow us @anticorruption

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Essay on Corruption for Students and Children

500+ words essay on corruption.

Essay on Corruption – Corruption refers to a form of criminal activity or dishonesty. It refers to an evil act by an individual or a group. Most noteworthy, this act compromises the rights and privileges of others. Furthermore, Corruption primarily includes activities like bribery or embezzlement. However, Corruption can take place in many ways. Most probably, people in positions of authority are susceptible to Corruption. Corruption certainly reflects greedy and selfish behavior.

Essay on Corruption

Methods of Corruption

First of all, Bribery is the most common method of Corruption. Bribery involves the improper use of favours and gifts in exchange for personal gain. Furthermore, the types of favours are diverse. Above all, the favours include money, gifts, company shares, sexual favours, employment , entertainment, and political benefits. Also, personal gain can be – giving preferential treatment and overlooking crime.

Embezzlement refers to the act of withholding assets for the purpose of theft. Furthermore, it takes place by one or more individuals who were entrusted with these assets. Above all, embezzlement is a type of financial fraud.

The graft is a global form of Corruption. Most noteworthy, it refers to the illegal use of a politician’s authority for personal gain. Furthermore, a popular way for the graft is misdirecting public funds for the benefit of politicians .

Extortion is another major method of Corruption. It means to obtain property, money or services illegally. Above all, this obtainment takes place by coercing individuals or organizations. Hence, Extortion is quite similar to blackmail.

Favouritism and nepotism is quite an old form of Corruption still in usage. This refers to a person favouring one’s own relatives and friends to jobs. This is certainly a very unfair practice. This is because many deserving candidates fail to get jobs.

Abuse of discretion is another method of Corruption. Here, a person misuses one’s power and authority. An example can be a judge unjustly dismissing a criminal’s case.

Finally, influence peddling is the last method here. This refers to illegally using one’s influence with the government or other authorized individuals. Furthermore, it takes place in order to obtain preferential treatment or favour.

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Ways of Stopping Corruption

One important way of preventing Corruption is to give a better salary in a government job. Many government employees receive pretty low salaries. Therefore, they resort to bribery to meet their expenses. So, government employees should receive higher salaries. Consequently, high salaries would reduce their motivation and resolve to engage in bribery.

corruption essay with quotes

Tough laws are very important for stopping Corruption. Above all, strict punishments need to be meted out to guilty individuals. Furthermore, there should be an efficient and quick implementation of strict laws.

Applying cameras in workplaces is an excellent way to prevent corruption. Above all, many individuals would refrain from indulging in Corruption due to fear of being caught. Furthermore, these individuals would have otherwise engaged in Corruption.

The government must make sure to keep inflation low. Due to the rise in prices, many people feel their incomes to be too low. Consequently, this increases Corruption among the masses. Businessmen raise prices to sell their stock of goods at higher prices. Furthermore, the politician supports them due to the benefits they receive.

To sum it up, Corruption is a great evil of society. This evil should be quickly eliminated from society. Corruption is the poison that has penetrated the minds of many individuals these days. Hopefully, with consistent political and social efforts, we can get rid of Corruption.

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The causes and effects of corruption, and how to combat corruption, are issues that have been very much on the national and international agendas of politicians and other policymakers in recent decades (Heidenheimer and Johnston 2002; Heywood 2018). Moreover, various historically influential philosophers, notably Plato ( The Republic ), Aristotle ( The Politics ), Machiavelli ( The Prince and The Discourses ), Hobbes ( The Leviathan ) and Montesquieu ( The Spirit of the Laws ), have concerned themselves with political corruption in particular, albeit in somewhat general terms (Sparling 2019; Blau 2009). For these philosophers corruption consisted in large part in rulers governing in the service of their own individual or collective—or other factional—self-interest, rather than for the common good and in accordance with the law or, at least, in accordance with legally enshrined moral principles. They also emphasized the importance of virtues, where it was understood that the appropriate virtues for rulers might differ somewhat from the appropriate virtues for citizens. Indeed, Machiavelli, in particular, famously or, perhaps, infamously argued in The Prince that the rulers might need to cultivate dispositions, such as ruthlessness, that are inconsistent with common morality. [ 1 ] And Plato doubted that the majority of people were even capable of possessing the requisite moral and intellectual virtues required to play an important role in political institutions; hence his rejection in The Republic of democracy in favor of rule by philosopher-kings. Moreover, these historically important political philosophers were concerned about the corruption of the citizenry: the corrosion of the civic virtues. This theme of a corrupt citizenry, as opposed to a corrupt leadership or institution, has been notably absent in contemporary philosophical discussion of the corruption of political institutions until quite recently. However, recently the corruption of political institutions and of the citizenry as a consequence of the proliferation of disinformation, propaganda, conspiracy theories and hate speech on social media, in particular (Woolley and Howard 2019), has become an important phenomenon which philosophers have begun to address (Lynch 2017; Cocking and van den Hoven 2018; Miller and Bossomaier 2023: Ch. 4). Social media bots are used inter alia to automatically generate disinformation (as well as information), propagate ideologies (as well as non-ideologically based opinions), and function as fake accounts to inflate the followings of other accounts and to gain followers. The upshot is that the moral right of freedom to communicate has frequently not been exercised responsibly; moral obligations to seek and communicate truths rather than falsehoods have not been discharged, resulting in large-scale social, political and, in some cases, physical harm. One key set of ethical issues here pertains to an important form of institutional corruption: corruption of the democratic process. For instance, revelations concerning the data firm Cambridge Analytica’s illegitimate use of the data of millions of Facebook users to influence elections in the U.S. and elsewhere highlighted the ethical issues arising from the use of machine learning techniques for political purposes by malevolent foreign actors. The problem here is compounded by home-grown corruption of democratic institutions by people who wilfully undermine electoral and other institutional processes in the service of their own political and personal goals. For instance, Donald Trump consistently claimed, and continues to claim, that the 2020 U.S. presidential election which he demonstrably lost involved massive voter fraud. The problem has also been graphically illustrated in the U.S. by the rise of home-grown extremist political groups fed via social media on a diet of disinformation, conspiracy theories, hate speech, and propaganda; a process which led to the violent attack in January 2021 on the Capitol building which houses the U.S. Congress.

In the modern period, in addition to the corruption of political institutions, the corruption of other kinds of institutions, notably market-based institutions, has been recognised. For example, the World Bank (1997) some time back came around to the view that the health of economic institutions and progress in economic development is closely linked to corruption reduction. In this connection there have been numerous anti-corruption initiatives in multiple jurisdictions, albeit this is sometimes presented as politically motivated. Moreover, the Global Financial Crisis and its aftermath have revealed financial corruption, including financial benchmark manipulation, and spurred regulators to consider various anti-corruption measures by way of response (Dobos, Pogge and Barry 2011). And in recent decades there have been ongoing efforts to analyze and devise means to combat corruption in in police organizations, in the professions, in the media, and even in universities and other research-focused institutions.

While contemporary philosophers, with some exceptions, have been slow to focus on corruption, the philosophical literature is increasing, especially in relation to political corruption (Thompson 1995; Dobel 2002; Warren 2006; Lessig 2011; Newhouse 2014; Philp and David-Barrett 2015; Miller 2017; Schmidtz 2018; Blau 2018; Philp 2018; Thompson 2018; Sparling 2019; Ceva & Ferretti 2021). For instance, until relatively recently the concept of corruption had not received much attention, and much of the conceptual work on corruption had consisted in little more than the presentation of brief definitions of corruption as a preliminary to extended accounts of the causes and effects of corruption and the ways to combat it. Moreover, most, but not all, of these definitions of corruption were unsatisfactory in fairly obvious ways. However, recently a number of more theoretically sophisticated definitions of corruption and related notions, such as bribery, have been provided by philosophers. Indeed, philosophers have also started to turn their minds to issues of anti-corruption, e.g., anti-corruption systems (often referred to as “integrity systems”), and in doing so theorizing the sources of corruption and the means to combat it.

1. Varieties of Corruption

2.1.1 personal corruption and institutional corruption, 2.1.2 institutional corrosion and structural corruption, 2.1.3 institutional actors and corruption, 2.2 causal theory of institutional corruption, 2.3.1 proceduralist theories of political corruption, 2.3.2 thompson: individual versus institutional corruption, 2.3.3 lessig’s dependence corruption, 2.3.4 ceva & ferretti: office accountability, 3. noble cause corruption, 4. integrity systems, 5. conclusion, other internet resources, related entries.

Consider one of the most popular of the standard longstanding definitions, namely, “Corruption is the abuse of power by a public official for private gain”. [ 2 ] No doubt the abuse of public offices for private gain is paradigmatic of corruption. But when a bettor bribes a boxer to “throw” a fight this is corruption for private gain, but it need not involve any public office holder; the roles of boxer and bettor are usually not public offices.

One response to this is to distinguish public corruption from private corruption, and to argue that the above definition is a definition only of public corruption. But if ordinary citizens lie when they give testimony in court, this is corruption; it is corruption of the criminal justice system. However, it does not involve abuse of a public office by a public official. And when police fabricate evidence out of a misplaced sense of justice, this is corruption of a public office, but not for private gain.

In the light of the failure of such analytical-style definitions it is tempting to try to sidestep the problem of providing a theoretical account of the concept of corruption by simply identifying corruption with specific legal and/or moral offences. However, attempts to identify corruption with specific legal/moral offences are unlikely to succeed. Perhaps the most plausible candidate is bribery; bribery is regarded by some as the quintessential form of corruption (Noonan 1984; Pritchard 1998; Green 2006). But what of nepotism (Bellow 2003)? Surely it is also a paradigmatic form of corruption, and one that is conceptually distinct from bribery. The person who accepts a bribe is understood as being required to provide a benefit to the briber, otherwise it is not a bribe; but the person who is the beneficiary of an act of nepotism is not necessarily understood as being required to return the favor.

In fact, corruption is exemplified by a very wide and diverse array of phenomena of which bribery is only one kind, and nepotism another. Paradigm cases of corruption include the following. The commissioner of taxation channels public monies into his personal bank account, thereby corrupting the public financial system. A political party secures a majority vote by arranging for ballot boxes to be stuffed with false voting papers, thereby corrupting the electoral process. A police officer fabricates evidence in order to secure convictions, thereby corrupting the judicial process. A number of doctors close ranks and refuse to testify against a colleague who they know has been negligent in relation to an unsuccessful surgical operation leading to loss of life; institutional accountability procedures are thereby undermined. A sports trainer provides the athletes he trains with banned substances in order to enhance their performance, thereby subverting the institutional rules laid down to ensure fair competition (Walsh and Giulianotti 2006). It is self-evident that none of these corrupt actions are instances of bribery.

Further, it is far from obvious that the way forward at this point is simply to add a few additional offences to the initial “list” consisting of the single offence of bribery. Candidates for being added to the list of offences would include nepotism, police fabricating evidence, cheating in sport by using drugs, fraudulent use of travel funds by politicians, and so on. However, any such list needs to be justified by recourse to some principle or principles. Ultimately, naming a set of offences that might be regarded as instances of corruption does not obviate the need for a theoretical, or quasi-theoretical, account of the concept of corruption.

As it happens, there is at least one further salient strategy for demarcating the boundaries of corrupt acts. Implicit in much of the literature on corruption is the view that corruption is essentially a legal offence, and essentially a legal offence in the economic sphere. Accordingly, one could seek to identify corruption with economic crimes, such as bribery, fraud, and insider trading.

But many acts of corruption are not unlawful. Bribery, a paradigm of corruption, is a case in point. Prior to 1977 it was not unlawful for U.S. companies to offer bribes to secure foreign contracts; indeed, elsewhere such bribery was not unlawful until much later. [ 3 ] So corruption is not necessarily unlawful. This is because corruption is not at bottom simply a matter of law; rather it is fundamentally a matter of morality.

Secondly, corruption is not necessarily economic in character. An academic who plagiarizes the work of others is not committing an economic crime or misdemeanor; and she might be committing plagiarism simply in order to increase her academic status. There might not be any financial benefit sought or gained.

We can conclude that many of the historically influential definitions of corruption, as well as attempts to circumscribe corruption by listing paradigmatic offences, fail. They fail in large part because the class of corrupt actions comprises an extremely diverse array of types of moral and legal offences undertaken in a wide variety of institutional contexts including, but by no means restricted to, political and economic institutions.

However, in recent times progress has been made. Philosophers, at least, have identified corruption as fundamentally a moral, as opposed to legal, phenomenon. Acts can be corrupt even though they are, and even ought to be, legal. Moreover, it is evident that not all acts of immorality are acts of corruption; corruption is only one species of immorality.

An important distinction in this regard is the distinction between human rights violations and corruption (see the entry on human rights ). Genocide is a profound moral wrong; but it is not corruption. This is not to say that there is not an important relationship between human rights violations and corruption; on the contrary, there is often a close and mutually reinforcing nexus between them (Pearson 2001; Pogge 2002 [2008]; Wenar 2016; Sharman 2017). Consider the endemic corruption and large-scale human rights abuse that have taken place in authoritarian regimes, such as that of Mobutu in Zaire, Suharto in Indonesia and Marcos in the Philippines (Sharman 2017). And there is increasing empirical evidence of an admittedly sometimes complex, but sometimes not so complex, causal connection between corruption and the infringement of both negative rights (such as the right not to be tortured, suffer arbitrary loss of one’s freedom, or have one’s property stolen) and positive rights, e.g., subsistence rights (such as the right to a sufficient supply of clean water to enable life and health); there is evidence, that is, of a causal relation between corruption and poverty. Consider corrupt authoritarian leaders in developing countries who sell the country’s natural resources cheaply and retain the profits for themselves and their families and supporters (Pogge 2002 [2008]: Chapter 6; Wenar 2016). As Wenar has forcefully argued (Wenar 2016), in the first place this is theft of the property (natural resources) of the people of the countries in question (e.g., Equatorial Guinea) by their own rulers (e.g., Obiang) and, therefore, western countries and others who import these resources are buying stolen goods; and, in the second place, this theft maintains these human rights-violating rulers in power and ensures that their populations continue to suffer in conditions of abject poverty, disease etc.

Thus far, examples of different types of corrupt action have been presented, and corrupt actions have been distinguished from some other types of immoral action. However, the class of corrupt actions has not been adequately demarcated within the more general class of immoral actions. To do so, a definition of corrupt actions is needed.

An initial distinction here is between single one-off actions of corruption and a pattern of corrupt actions. The despoiling of the moral character of a role occupant, or the undermining of institutional processes and purposes, would typically require a pattern of actions—and not merely a single one-off action. So a single free hamburger provided to a police officer on one occasion usually does not corrupt, and is not therefore an act of corruption. Nevertheless, a series of such gifts to a number of police officers might corrupt. They might corrupt, for example, if the hamburger joint in question ended up with (in effect) exclusive, round the clock police protection, and if the owner intended that this be the case.

Note here the pivotal role of habits (Langford & Tupper 1994). We have just seen that the corruption of persons and institutions typically requires a pattern of corrupt actions. More specifically, corrupt actions are typically habitual. Yet, as noted by Aristotle in his Nicomachean Ethics , one’s habits are in large part constitutive of one’s moral character; habits make the man (and the woman). The coward is someone who habitually takes flight in the face of danger; by contrast, the courageous person has a habit of standing his or her ground. Accordingly, morally bad habits —including corrupt actions—are extremely corrosive of moral character, and therefore of institutional roles and ultimately institutions. Naturally, so-called systemic corruption would typically involve not simply the habitual performance of a corrupt action by a single individual but the habitual performance of a corrupt action by many individuals in an institution or, conceivably, an entire society or polity. Moreover, this pattern of individuals engaged in the performance of habitual corrupt actions might have a self-sustaining structure that gives rise to a collective action problem, if the pattern is to be broken. Consider widespread bribery in relation to competitive tenders for government contracts. Bribes are paid by competing companies in order to try influence the outcome of the tender process. Any firm that chooses not to pay a bribe is not given serious consideration. Thus, not to engage in corruption is to seriously disadvantage one’s company. Even those who do not want to engage in bribery do so. This is a collective action problem (Olson 1965).

Notwithstanding the habitual nature of most corrupt actions there are some cases in which a single, one-off action would be sufficient to corrupt an instance of an institutional process. Consider a specific tender. Suppose that one bribe is offered and accepted, and the tendering process is thereby undermined. Suppose that this is the first and only time that the person offering the bribe and the person receiving the bribe are involved in bribery. Is this one-off bribe an instance of corruption? Surely it is, since it corrupted that particular instance of a tendering process.

Ontologically speaking, there are different kinds of entities that can be corrupted. These include human beings, words of a language, artefacts, such as computer discs, and so on. However, our concern in this entry is with the corruption of institutions since this is the main focus of the philosophical and, for that matter, the non-philosophical, literature. Of course, institutions are comprised in large part of institutional roles occupied by human beings. So our focus on institutional corruption brings with it a focus on the corruption of individual human beings. (I refer to the corruption of individual human beings as personal corruption.) However in the case of institutional corruption, the focus on the corruption of human beings (personal corruption) is on human beings qua institutional actors (and on those who interact with institutional role occupants qua institutional role occupants)(Miller 2017: 65).

The upshot of this is that there are three sets of distinctions in play here. Firstly, there is the distinction between institutional corruption and non-institutional corruption—the latter being the corruption of entities other than institutions, e.g., corruption of artefacts. Secondly, there is the distinction between personal and non-personal corruption—the former being the corruption of human beings as opposed to, for instance, institutional processes. Thirdly, with respect to personal corruption, there is the distinction between the corruption of persons qua institutional actors and non-institutional personal corruption. Non-institutional personal corruption is corruption of persons outside institutional settings. Personal corruption pertains to the moral character of persons, and consists in the despoiling of their moral character. If an action has a corrupting effect on a person’s character, it will typically be corrosive of one or more of a person’s virtues. These virtues might be virtues that attach to the person qua human being, e.g., the virtues of compassion and fairness in one’s dealings with other human beings. Corrosion of these virtues amounts to non-institutional personal corruption. Alternatively—or in some cases, additionally—these virtues might attach to persons qua occupants of specific institutional roles, e.g., impartiality in a judge or objectivity in a journalist. Corrosion of these virtues amounts to institutional personal corruption, i.e., corruption of a person qua institutional role occupant.

In order to provide an adequate account of institutional corruption we need a serviceable notion of an institution: the thing corrupted. For our purposes here it is assumed that an institution is an organization or structure of organizations that reproduces itself (e.g., by training and recruitment processes) and is comprised of a structure of institutional roles defined in terms of tasks (Harré 1979; Giddens 1984; Miller 2010). Accordingly, the class of institutions is quite diverse and includes political institutions, (e.g., legislatures), market-based institutions, (e.g., corporations), institutions of learning, (e.g., universities), security agencies, (e.g., police and military organizations), and so on. Importantly, as we noted above, the various different types of, and even motives for, institutional corruption vary greatly from one kind of institution to another.

Note that in theorizing institutional corruption the distinction between an entire society or polity, on the one hand, and its constituent institutions, on the other, needs to be kept in mind. A theory of democracy, for instance, might be a theory not only of democratic government in the narrow sense of the legislature and senior members of the executive, but also of the public administration as a whole, the judiciary, the security agencies (police and military), civil society and so on. Obviously, a theory of the corruption of democratic political institutions (in the narrow sense of the legislature and the senior members of the executive) might not be generalizable to other sorts of institution within a democracy, e.g., to security agencies or market-based institutions. Moreover, fundamental differences regarding the specific form that a democracy ought to take, e.g., between those of a republican persuasion (Pettit 1997; Sandel 2012) and libertarians (Nozick 1974; Friedman 1970), might morph into disputes about what counts as institutional corruption. For instance, on one view market-based institutions exist to serve the common good, while on another they exist only to serve the individual self-interest of the participants in them. Thus on the latter, but not the former, view market intervention by the government in the service of the common good might be regarded as a species of corruption. Further, a theory of the corruption of democracy, and certainly of the corruption of one species of democracy such as liberal democracy, is not necessarily adequate for the understanding of the corruption of many of institutions within a democracy and, in particular, those institutions, such as military and police institutions, hierarchical bureaucracies and market-based institutions, which are not inherently democratic either in structure or purpose, notwithstanding that they exist within the framework of a democratic political system, are shaped in various ways by that framework and, conversely, might be necessary for the maintenance of that framework.

2. Institutional Corruption

2.1 general features of institutional corruption.

Our concern here is only with institutional corruption. Nevertheless, it is plausible that corruption in general, including institutional corruption frequently, if not typically, involves the despoiling of the moral character of persons and in particular, in the case of institutional corruption, the despoiling of the moral character of institutional role occupants qua institutional role occupants. To this extent institutional corruption involves personal corruption and, thereby, connects institutional corruption to moral character. If the moral character of particular institutional role occupants, (e.g., police detectives), consists in large part of their possession of certain virtues definitive of the role in question (e.g., honesty, independence of mind, impartiality) then institutional corruption will frequently involve the displacement of those virtues in these role occupants by corresponding vices, (e.g., dishonesty, weak mindedness, bias); that is, institutional corruption will frequently involve institutional personal corruption.

As noted above, the relationship between institutional corruption and personal corruption is something that has been emphasized historically, e.g., by Plato, Aristotle and Machiavelli. However, some recent theorists of structural corruption have tended to downplay this relationship. Lessig’s notion of dependence corruption (Lessig 2011), in particular, evidently decouples structural corruption from (institutional) personal corruption (see section 2.3.3 below).

Personal corruption, i.e., the state of having been corrupt ed , is not the same thing as performing a corrupt action, i.e., being a corrupt or . Typically, corruptors are themselves corrupted, but this is not necessarily the case. Consider, for example, a parent who pays a one-off bribe to an immigration official in order to be reunited with her child. The parent is a corruptor by virtue of performing a corrupt action, but she is not necessarily corrupted by her, let us assume, morally justifiable action.

Does personal corruption imply moral responsibility for one’s corrupt character? This issue is important in its own right but it also has implications for our understanding of structural corruption. Certainly, many, if not most, of those who are corrupted are morally responsible for being so. After all, they do or should know what it is to be corrupt and they could have avoided becoming corrupt. Consider, for instance, kleptocrats, such as Mobuto and Marcos, who have looted billions of dollars from the public purse (Sharman 2017), or senior members of multi-national corporations who have been engaged in ongoing massive bribery in China and elsewhere (Pei 2016). These kleptocrats and corporate leaders are not only corruptors, they are themselves corrupt; moreover, they are morally responsible for being in their state of corruption.

However, there appear to be exceptions to the claim that personal corruption necessarily or always brings with it moral responsibility for one’s corrupt character, e.g., adolescents who have been raised in criminal families and, as a result, participate in the corrupt enterprises of these families. These individuals perform actions which are an expression of their corrupt characters and which also have a corrupting effect.

What of the moral responsibility of corruptors for their corrupt actions? It is plausible that many, if not most, corruptors are morally responsible for their corrupt actions (e.g., the legions of those rightly convicted of corruption in criminal courts—and therefore, presumably, morally responsible for their actions—in jurisdictions around the world), but there appear to be exceptions, e.g., those who are coerced into offering bribes.

One school of thought in the theory of social institutions that might well reject the view that corruptors are necessarily or even typically morally responsible (or, therefore, blameworthy) for their corrupt actions is structuralism (Lévi-Strauss 1962 [1966]) and especially structural Marxism (Althusser 1971). According to the latter view institutional structure and, in particular, economic class-based relations largely determine institutional structures and cultures, and regularities in the actions of institutional actors. On this anti-individualist conception neither institutional corrosion nor institutional corruption—supposing the two notions can be distinguished (see below)—are ultimately to be understood by recourse to the actions of morally responsible individual human agents. Strong forms of structuralism are inconsistent with most contemporary philosophical accounts of institutional corruption, not the least because these accounts typically assume that institutions have an inherently normative—rather than merely ideological—dimension. However there are echoes of weaker forms of structuralism in some of these accounts when it comes to the issue of the moral responsibility of human persons for institutional corruption. One influential contemporary theorist of corruption who apparently does not accept the view that corruptors are necessarily or always morally responsible (or, therefore, blameworthy) for their corrupt actions is Lessig (Lessig 2011) (see section 2.3.3 below).

The upshot of our discussion of (institutional) personal corruption and moral responsibility is as follows. We now have, at least notionally, a fourfold distinction in relation to corruptors: (1) corruptors who are morally responsible for their corrupt action and blameworthy; (2) corruptors who are morally responsible for their corrupt action but not blameworthy; (3) corruptors who are not morally responsible for having a corrupt character, but whose actions: (a) are expressive of their corrupt character, and; (b) have a corrupting effect; (4) corruptors who do not have a corrupt character and are neither morally responsible nor blameworthy for their corrupt actions, yet whose actions have a corrupting effect, e.g., by virtue of some form of structural dependency for which individual human persons are not morally responsible.

Naturally, in the case of institutional corruption typically greater institutional damage is being done than simply the despoiling of the moral character of the institutional role occupants. Specifically, institutional processes are being undermined, and/or institutional purposes subverted. A further point is that the undermining of institutional purposes or processes typically requires the actions of multiple agents; the single action of a single agent is typically not sufficient. The multiple actions of the multiple agents in question could be a joint action(s) or they could be individual actions taken in aggregate. A joint action is one in which two or more agents perform a contributory individual action in the service of a common or collective end (Miller 2010: Chapter 1) or, according to some theorists, joint intention (Bratman 2016: Chapter 1). For instance, motivated by financial gain, a group of traders within the banking sector might cooperate with one another in order to manipulate a financial benchmark rate, such as LIBOR (London Interbank Borrowing Rate) (Wheatley 2012).

However, arguably, the undermining of institutional processes and/or purposes is not a sufficient condition for institutional corruption. Acts of institutional damage that are not performed by a corruptor and also do not corrupt persons might be thought to be better characterized as acts of institutional corrosion . Consider, for example, funding decisions that gradually reduce public monies allocated to the court system in some large jurisdiction. As a consequence, magistrates might be progressively less well trained and there might be fewer and fewer of them to deal with the gradually increasing workload of cases. This may well lead to a diminution over decades in the quality of the adjudications of these magistrates, and so the judicial processes are to an extent undermined. However, given the size of the jurisdiction and the incremental nature of these changes, neither the magistrates, nor anyone else, might be aware of this process of judicial corrosion, or even able to become aware of it (given heavy workloads, absence of statistical information, etc.). At any rate, if we assume that neither the judges nor anyone else can do anything to address the problem then, while there has clearly been judicial corrosion, arguably there has not been judicial corruption. Why is such corrosion not also corruption?

For institutional corrosion to constitute corruption, it might be claimed (Miller 2017: Chapter 3), the institutional damage done needs to be avoidable; indeed, it might also be claimed that the relevant agents must be capable of being held morally responsible for the damage, at least in the generality of cases. So if the magistrates in our example were to become aware of the diminution in the quality of their adjudications, could cause additional resources to be provided and yet chose to do nothing, then arguably the process of corrosion might have become a process of corruption.

An important question that arises here is whether or not institutional corruption is relative to a teleological or purpose-driven conception of institutions and, relatedly, whether the purposes in question are to be understood normatively. Arguably, the institutional purposes of universities include the acquisition of new knowledge and its transmission to students; moreover, arguably, knowledge acquisition is a human good since it enables (indirectly), for instance, health needs to be met. However, it has been suggested that the purposes of political institutions, in particular, are too vague or contested to be definitive of them (Ceva & Ferretti 2017; Warren 2004). One response to this is to claim that governments are in large part meta-institutions with the responsibility to ensure that society’s other institutions realize their distinctive institutional purposes. On this view, an important purpose of governments is provided, in effect, by the purposes of other fundamental institutions. For instance, an important purpose of governments might be to ensure market-based institutions operate in a free, fair, efficient and effective manner (Miller 2017: 14.1).

Naturally, there are many different kinds of entities which might causally undermine institutions, including other collective entities. However, collectivist accounts of institutions go beyond the ascription of causal responsibility and, in some cases, ascribe moral responsibility. Firstly, such collectivist accounts of institutions ascribe intentions, beliefs and so on to organizations and other collective entities per se. Secondly, this ascription of mindedness to collective entities leaves the way open to ascribe moral agency to these entities (French 1979; List & Pettit 2011). On such collectivist accounts corruptors include collective entities; indeed, corruptors who are morally responsible for their corrupt actions. Thus Lockheed Corporation, on this view, was a moral agent (or, at least, an immoral agent) which corrupted the Japanese government (a second moral agent) by way of bribery. Other theorists, typically referred to as individualists, reject minded collective entities (Ludwig 2017; Miller 2010). Accordingly to individualists, only human agents are possessed of minds and moral agency. [ 4 ] Thus collective entities, such as organizations, do not have minds and are not per se moral agents. Accordingly, it is only human agents who culpably perform actions that undermine legitimate institutional processes or purposes.

An important related issue that arises at this point pertains to the human agents who perform acts of corruption. Are they necessarily institutional actors? It might be thought that this was not the case. Supposing a criminal bribes a public official in order to get a permit to own a gun. The criminal is not an institutional actor and yet he has performed an act of institutional corruption. However, in this example the public official has accepted the bribe and she is an institutional actor. So the example does not show that institutional corruption does not necessarily involve the participation of an institutional actor. What if the criminal offered the bribe but it was not accepted? While this may well be a crime and is certainly an attempt at institutional corruption, arguably, it is not an actual instance of an act of institutional corruption but rather a failed attempt. Moreover, it is presumably not an instance of institutional corruption because the institutional actor approached refused to participate in the attempted corrupt action. Let us pursue this issue further.

As we saw in section 1 , corruption, even if it involves the abuse of public office, is not necessarily pursued for private gain. However, according to many definitions of corruption institutional corruption necessarily involves abuse of public office. Moreover, our example of an attempted bribe to secure a gun permit involves a public official. However, we have canvassed arguments in section 1 that contra this view acts of corruption might be actions performed by persons who do not hold public office, e.g., price-fixing by market actors, a witness who gives false testimony in a law court. At this point in the argument we need to invoke a distinction between persons who hold a public office and persons who have an institutional role. CEOs of corporations do not hold public office but they do have an institutional role. Hence a CEO who embezzles his company’s money is engaged in corruption. Again, citizens are not necessarily holders of public offices, but they do have an institutional role qua citizens, e.g., as voters. Hence a voter who breaks into the electoral office and stuffs the ballot boxes with falsified voting papers in order to ensure the election of her favored candidate is engaged in corruption, notwithstanding the fact that she does not hold public office.

The causal theory of institutional corruption (Miller 2017) presupposes a normative teleological conception of institutions according to which institutions are defined not only as organizations or systems of organizations with a purpose(s), but organizations or systems of organizations the purpose(s) of which is a human good. The goods in question are either intrinsic or instrumental goods. For instance, universities are held to have as their purpose the discovery and transmission of knowledge, where knowledge is at the very least an instrumental good. (For criticisms see Thompson 2018 and Ceva & Ferretti 2021.)

If a serviceable definition of the concept of a corrupt action is to be found—and specifically, one that does not collapse into the more general notion of an immoral action—then attention needs to be focused on the moral effects that some actions have on persons and institutions. An action is corrupt only if it corrupts something or someone—so corruption is not only a moral concept, but also a causal or quasi-causal concept. That is, an action is corrupt by virtue of having a corrupting effect on a person’s moral character or on an institutional process or purpose. If an action has a corrupting effect on an institution, undermining institutional processes or purposes, then typically—but not necessarily—it has a corrupting effect also on persons qua role occupants in the affected institutions.

Accordingly, an action is corrupt only if it has the effect of undermining an institutional process or of subverting an institutional purpose or of despoiling the character of some role occupant qua role occupant. In light of the possibility that some acts of corruption have negligible effects, such as a small one-off bribe paid for a minor service, this defining feature needs to be qualified so as to include acts that are of a type or kind that tends to undermine institutional processes, purposes or persons ( qua institutional role occupants)—as well as individual or token acts that actually have the untoward effects in question. Thus qualified, the causal character of corruption provides the second main feature of the causal theory of institutional corruption, the first feature being the normative teleological conception of institutions. I note accounts predicated on these two assumptions have ancient origins, notably in Aristotle (Hindess 2001).

In keeping with the causal account, an infringement of a specific law or institutional rule does not in and of itself constitute an act of institutional corruption. In order to do so, any such infringement needs to have an institutionally undermining effect , or be of a kind that has a tendency to cause such an effect, e.g., to defeat the institutional purpose of the rule, to subvert the institutional process governed by the rule, or to contribute to the despoiling of the moral character of a role occupant qua role occupant. In short, we need to distinguish between the offence considered in itself and the institutional effect of committing that offence. Considered in itself the offence of, say, lying is an infringement of a law, rule, and/or a moral principle. However, the offence is only an act of institutional corruption if it has some institutionally undermining effect, or is of a kind that has such a tendency, e.g., it is performed in a courtroom setting and thereby subverts the judicial process.

A third feature of the causal theory of institutional corruption pertains to the agents who cause the corruption. As noted in section 2.1.3 , there are many different kinds of entities which might causally undermine institutions, including other collective entities. However, it is an assumption of the causal theory of corruption that only human agents are possessed of minds and moral agency. Accordingly, on the causal theory it is only human agents who culpably perform actions that undermine legitimate institutional processes or purposes.

A fourth and final feature of the causal theory also pertains to the agents who cause corruption. It is a further assumption of the causal theory that the human agents who perform acts of corruption (the corruptors) and/or the human agents who are corrupted (the corrupted) are necessarily institutional actors (see discussion above in section 2.1.3 ). More precisely, acts of institutional corruption necessarily involve a corruptor who performs the corrupt action qua occupant of an institutional role and/or someone who is corrupted qua occupant of an institutional role .

In light of the above discussion the following normative theory of corruption suggests itself: the causal theory of institutional corruption (Miller 2017: Chapter 3).

An act x (whether a single or joint action) performed by an agent (or set of agents) A is an act of institutional corruption if and only if:

  • x has an effect, or is an instance of a kind of act that has a tendency to have an effect, of undermining, or contributing to the undermining of, some institutional process and/or purpose (understood as a collective good) of some institution, I , and/or an effect of contributing to the despoiling of the moral character of some role occupant of I , agent (or set of agents) B , qua role occupant of I ;
  • A is a role occupant of I who used the opportunities afforded by their role to perform x , and in so doing A intended or foresaw the untoward effects in question, or should have foreseen them;
  • B could have avoided the untoward effects, if B had chosen to do so. [ 5 ]

Note that (2) (a) tells us that A is a corruptor and is, therefore, either (straightforwardly) morally responsible for the corrupt action, or A is not morally responsible for A ’s corrupt character and the corrupt action is an expression of A ’s corrupt character.

Notice also that the causal theory being cast in general terms, i.e., the undermining of institutional purposes, processes and/or persons ( qua institutional role occupants), can accommodate a diversity of corruption in a wide range of institutions in different social, political and economic settings, past and present, and accommodate also a wide range of mechanisms or structures of corruption, including structural relations of dependency, collective action problems and so on.

A controversial feature of the causal account is that organizations that are entirely morally and legally illegitimate, such as criminal organizations, (e.g., the mafia), are not able to be corrupted (Lessig 2013b). For on the causal account the condition of corruption exists only relative to an uncorrupted condition, which is the condition of being a morally legitimate institution or sub-element thereof. Consider the uncorrupted judicial process. It consists of the presentation of objective evidence that has been gathered lawfully, of testimony in court being presented truthfully, of the rights of the accused being respected, and so on. This otherwise morally legitimate judicial process may be corrupted, if one or more of its constitutive actions are not performed in accordance with the process as it ought to be. Thus to present fabricated evidence, to lie under oath, and so on, are all corrupt actions. In relation to moral character, consider an honest accountant who begins to “doctor the books” under the twin pressures of a corrupt senior management and a desire to maintain a lifestyle that is only possible if he is funded by the very high salary he receives for doctoring the books. By engaging in such a practice he risks the erosion of his moral character; he is undermining his disposition to act honestly.

2.3 Theories of Political Corruption

Let us term theories of corruption which focus on the undermining of institutional procedures or processes, as opposed to institutional purposes, proceduralist theories of institutional corruption. Mark Warren has elaborated a proceduralist theory of the corruption of democracies, in particular; a theory which he terms “duplicitous exclusion” (Warren 2006). (Relatedly and more recently, Ceva & Ferretti speak of bending public rules in the service of “surreptitious agendas” as definitive of corruption (Ceva & Ferretti 2017: 6), although in a recent work they have shifted to a notion of corruption in terms of lack of accountability (Ceva & Ferretti 2018; Ceva & Ferretti 2021). See discussion below in 2.3.4.)

Democratic political institutions are characterized by equality (in some sense) with respect to these processes. Warren offers a particular account of democratic equality and derives his notion of corruption of democratic political institutions from this. According to Warren, democracies involve a norm of equal inclusion such that

every individual potentially affected by a collective decision should have an opportunity to affect the decision proportional to his or her stake in the outcome. (Warren 2004: 333)

Corruption of democracies occurs under two conditions: (1) this norm is violated and; (2) violators claim to be complying with the norm (Warren 2004: 337). Warren contrasts his theory of duplicitous exclusion with what he terms “office-based” accounts (Warren 2004:329–32).The latter might be serviceable for administrative agencies and roles but is, according to Warren, inadequate for democratic representatives attempting to “define the public interest” (Warren 2006: 10) and relying essentially on the political process, rather than pre-existing agreement on specific ends or purposes, to do so. This latter point is made in one way of another by other theorists of modern representative democracies, such as Thompson (2013) and Ceva & Ferretti (2017: 5), and is an objection to teleological accounts (such as the causal account— section 2.2 above).

Warren’s other necessary condition for the corruption of institutions, namely duplicity, resonates with the emphasis in the contemporary anti-corruption literature and, for that matter, in much public policy on transparency; transparency can reveal duplicity and thereby thwart corruptors. Moreover, the duplicity condition—and the related surreptitious agenda condition of Ceva & Ferretti—is reminiscent of Plato’s ring of Gyges (Plato Gorgias ); corruption is something done under a cloak of secrecy and typically involves deception to try to ensure the cloak is not removed. Unquestionably, corruption often flourishes under conditions of secrecy. Moreover, corruptors frequently seek to deceive by presenting themselves a committed to the standards that they are (secretly) violating. But contra Warren—and, for that matter, Ceva & Ferretti—corruption does not necessarily or always need to be hidden in order to flourish. Indeed, in polities and institutions suffering from the most serious and widespread forms of corruption at the hands of the very powerful, there is often little or no need for secrecy or deception in relation to the pursuit of corrupt practices; corruption is out in the open. Consider Colombia during the period of the drug lord, Pablo Escobar’s, “reign”; the period of the so-called “narcocracy”. His avowed and well-advertised policy was “silver or lead”, meaning that politicians, judges, journalists and so on either accepted a bribe or risked being killed (Bowden 2012). Against this it might be suggested that at least corruption in democracies always involves hiding one’s corrupt practices. Unfortunately, this seems not to be the case either. As Plato pointed out long ago in The Republic , democracies can suffer a serious problem of corruption among the citizenry and when this happens all manner of corrupt practices on the part of leaders and others will not only be visible, they will be tolerated, and even celebrated.

Warren’s theory is evidently not generalizable to many other institutions, namely, those that are not centrally governed by democratic norms and, in particular, by his norm of equal inclusion. Consider, for instance, military institutions. Most important decisions made by military personal in wartime—as opposed to those made by their political masters, such as whether to go to war in the first place—are made in the context of a hierarchical structure; they are not collective decisions, if the notion of a collective decision is to be understood on a democratic model of decision-making, e.g., representative democracy. Moreover, with respect to, for instance, the decision to retreat or stand and fight a combatant does not and cannot reasonably expect to have “an opportunity to affect the decision proportional to her stake in the outcome”. The combatant’s personal stake might be very high; his life is at risk if he stands and fights and, therefore, he might prefer to retreat. However, military necessity in a just war might dictate that he and his comrades stand and fight and, therefore, they are ordered to do so by their superiors back at headquarters and, as virtuous combatants, they obey. I note that Machiavelli contrasts combatants possessed of the martial virtues with corruptible mercenaries who only fight for money and who desert when their lives are threatened (Machiavelli The Prince : Chapter 12).

Thompson’s groundbreaking and influential theory of institutional corruption takes as its starting point a distinction between what Thompson refers to as individual corruption and institutional corruption. When an official accepts a bribe in return for providing a service to the briber, this is individual corruption since the official is accepting a personal benefit or gain in exchange for promoting private interests (Thompson 2013: 6). Moreover, the following two conditions evidently obtain: (i) the official intends to provide the service (or, at least, intends to give the impression that he will provide the service) to the bribee; (ii) the official and the bribee intentionally create the link between the bribe and the service, i.e., it is a quid quo pro . By contrast, institutional corruption involves political benefits or gains, e.g., campaign contributions (that do not go into the political candidates’ own pockets but are actually spent on the campaigns) by public officials under conditions that tend to promote private interests (Thompson 2013: 6). The reference to a tendency entails that there is some kind of causal regularity in the link between acceptance of the political benefits and promotion of the private interests (including greater access to politicians than is available to others (Thompson 2018)). However, the officials in question do not intend that there be such a link between the political benefits they accept and their promotion of the private interests of the provider of the political benefits. Rather

the fact that an official acts under conditions that tend to create improper influence is sufficient to establish corruption, whatever the official’s motive. (Thompson 2013: 13)

I note that in the case of institutional corruption and, presumably, individual corruption (in so far as it involves the bribery of public or private officials) the actions in question must undermine some institutional process or purpose (and/or perhaps institutional role occupant qua role occupant). Thus Thompson says of institutional corruption:

It is not corrupt if the practice promotes (or at least does not damage) political competition, citizenship representation, or other core processes of the institution. But it is corrupt if it is of a type that tends to undermine such processes and thereby frustrate the primary purposes of the institution. (Thompson 2013: 7)

While Thompson has provided an important analysis of an important species of institutional corruption, his additional claim that officials who accept personal benefits in exchange for promoting private interests, i.e., a common form of bribery, is not a species of institutional corruption is open to question (and a point of difference with the causal theory). As mentioned in section 1 , this species of bribery of institutional actors utilizing their position—whether that position be one in the public sector or in the private sector—can be systemic and, therefore, extremely damaging to institutions. Consider the endemic bribery of police in India with its attendant undermining of the provision of impartial (Kurer 2005; Rothstein & Varraich 2017), obligatory (Kolstad 2012) and effective police services, not to mention of public trust in the police. Some police stations in part of India are little more than unlawful “tax” collection or, better, extortion agencies; local business people have to pay the local police if they are to guarantee effective police protection, truck drivers have to pay bribes to the police at transport checkpoints, if they are to transit expeditiously through congested areas, speeding tickets are avoided by those who pay bribes, and so on. Moreover, endemic bribery of this kind is endemic in many police forces and other public sector agencies throughout so-called developing countries, even if it is no longer present in most developed countries.

Thompson invokes the distinction between systemic and episodic services provided by a public official in support of his distinction between individual and institutional corruption. By “systemic” Thompson means that the service provided by the official

is provided through a persistent pattern of relationships, rather than in episodic or one-time interactions. (The particular relationships do not themselves have to be ongoing: a recurrent set of one-time interactions by the same politician with different recipients could create a similar pattern.) (Thompson 2013: 11)

However, as our above example of bribery of police in India makes clear, Thompson’s individual corruption can be, and often is, systemic in precisely this sense. In more recent work Thompson has drawn attention to mixed cases involving, for instance, both a personal and a political gain—the political gain not necessarily being a motive—and suggested that if the dominant gain is political rather than personal then it is institutional corruption or perhaps a mix of individual and institutional corruption (Thompson 2018). Fair enough. However, this does not remove the objection that systemic bribery (for instance) involving only personal gain (both as a motive and an outcome) are, nevertheless, cases of institutional corruption.

Thompson uses the case of Charles Keating to outline his theory (Thompson 1995 and 2013). Keating was a property developer who made generous contributions to the election campaigns of various U.S. politicians, notably five senators, and then at a couple of meetings called on a number of these to do him a favor in return. Specifically, Keating wanted the senators to get a regulatory authority to refrain from seizing the assets of a subsidiary of a company owned by Keating. The chair of the regulatory authority was replaced. However, two years later the assets of the company in question were seized and authorities filed a civil racketeering and fraud suit against Keating accusing him of diverting funds from the company to his family and to political campaigns. Thompson argues that the Keating case involved: (1) the provision or, at least, the appearance of the provision of an improper service on the part of legislators (the senators) to a constituent (Keating), i.e., interfering with the role of a regulator on his behalf; (2) a political gain in the form of campaign contributions (from Keating to the senators), and; (3) a link or, at least, the appearance of a link between (1) and (2), i.e., the tendency under these conditions for the service to be performed because of the political gain.

Accordingly, the case study involves at least the appearance of corrupt activity on the part of the senators. Moreover, Thompson claims that such an appearance might be sufficient for institutional corruption in that damage has been done to a political institution by virtue of a diminution in public trust in that institution. Thus the appearance of a conflict of interest undermines public trust which in turn damages the institution. The appearance of a conflict of interest arises when legislators use their office to provide a questionable “service” to a person upon whom they are, or have been, heavily reliant for campaign contributions. Evidently, on Thompson’s account of institutional (as opposed to individual) corruption it is not necessary that the legislators in these kinds of circumstance ought to know that their actions might well have the appearance of a conflict of interest, ought to know that they might have a resulting damaging effect, and ought to know, therefore, that they ought not to have performed those actions. Certainly, the senators in the Keating case ought to have known that they ought not to perform these actions. However, the more general point is that it is not clear that it would be a case of corruption, if it were not the case that the legislators in question ought to have known that they ought not to perform the institutionally damaging actions in question. On the causal account ( section 2.2 above), if legislators or other officials perform institutionally damaging actions that they could not reasonably be expected to know would be institutionally damaging then they have not engaged in corruption but rather incidental institutional damage (and perhaps corrosion if the actions are ongoing).

As outlined above, Thompson has made a detailed application of his theory to political institutions and, especially to campaign financing in the U.S.. However, he views the theory as generalizable to institutions other than political ones. It is generalizable, he argues, in so far as “public purposes” can be replaced by “institutional purposes” and “democratic process” with “legitimate institutional procedures” (Thompson 2013: 5). Certainly, if the theory is to be generalizable then it is necessary that these replacements be made. The question is whether making these replacements is sufficient. Moreover, the particular species of institutional corruption that he has identified and analyzed might exist in other institutions but do so alongside a wide range of other species to which his analysis does not apply—including, but not restricted to, what he refers to as individual corruption. Thompson has recently identified some other forms of institutional corruption to which he claims his theory applies (Thompson 2018). For instance, the close relationship that might obtain between corporations and their auditing firms. The salient such relationships are those consisting of auditing firms undertaking profitable financial consultancy work for the very corporations which they are auditing; hence the potential for the independent auditing process to be compromised. These relationships certainly have the potential for corruption. However, they do not appear to be paradigms of institutional corruption in Thompson’s sense since, arguably, undertaking such consultancy work is not prima facie an integral function of auditing firms qua auditors in the manner in which, for instance, securing campaign finance is integral to political parties competing in an election (to mention Thompson’s paradigmatic example of institutional corruption).

Newhouse has attempted to generalize Thompson’ theory, but in doing so also narrows it. Newhouse argues that Thompson’s theory is best understood in terms of breach of organizational fiduciary duties (Newhouse 2014). An important underlying reason for this, says Newhouse, is that Thompson’s (and, for that matter, Lessig’s) account of institutional corruption presuppose that institutions have an “obligatory purpose” (Newhouse 2014: 555) Fiduciary duties are, of course, obligatory. Moreover, they are widespread in both the public and private sector; hence the theory would be generalized. On the other hand, there are many institutional actors who do not have fiduciary duties. Thus if Newhouse is correct in thinking that Thompson’s theory of institutional corruption provides a model for breach of organizational fiduciary duty and only for breach of organizational fiduciary duty, the ambition to generalize Thompson’s theory will remain substantially unrealized.

Lawrence Lessig has argued that the U.S. democratic political process and, indeed, Congress itself, is institutionally corrupt and that the corruption in question is a species of what he calls “dependency corruption” (Lessig 2011 and 2013a). Lessig argues that although U.S. citizens as a whole vote in the election of, say, the U.S. President, nevertheless, the outcome is not wholly dependent on these citizens as it should be in a democracy or, at least, as is required by the U.S. Constitution. For the outcome is importantly dependent on a small group of “Funders” who bankroll particular candidates and without whose funding no candidate could hope to win office. Accordingly, there are really two elections. In the first election only the Funders get to “vote” since only they have sufficient funds to support a political candidate. Once these candidate have been “elected” then there is a second election, a general election, in which all the citizens get to vote. However, they can only vote on the list of candidates “pre-selected” by the Funders. Lessig’s account of the U.S. election is complicated, but not vitiated, by the existence of a minority of candidates, such as Bernie Sanders, who rely on funding consisting of small amounts of money from a very large number of Funders. It is further complicated but not necessarily vitiated by the rise of demagogues such as Donald Trump who, as mentioned above, can utilise social media and computational propaganda to have an electoral influence much greater than otherwise might have been the case (Woolley and Howard 2019).

On Lessig’s view there are two dependencies in play, namely, the dependency of the outcome of the election on the citizenry and the dependency of this outcome on the Funders. However, these two dependencies are inconsistent. Therefore, the question that now arises is which dependency is legitimate. Clearly, the dependency on the citizenry as a whole is legitimate since this is what the Constitution clearly intended. Since these funders are not representative of the U.S. citizenry the dependency on the Funders is illegitimate and a corruption of the democratic process in the U.S..

Lessig states that his notion of dependency corruption cuts across Thompson’s notions of individual and institutional corruption (Lessig 2013a: 14). Regarding the relation to Thompson’s notion of institutional corruption: On the one hand, dependence corruption involves a tendency, as does Thompson’s notion of institutional corruption (see above section 2.3.2 ). On the other hand, on Thompson’s theory, a politician, or set of politicians, can receive campaign contributions from Funders and further their private interests without being dependent on them. So in this respect Thompson’s notion of institutional corruption is wider than Lessig’s notion of dependence corruption. Regarding the relation to Thompson’s notion of individual corruption: A politician, or set of politicians, may come to depend on personal benefits from Funders. This is dependence corruption but on Thompson’s theory it is presumably individual corruption. (Although, perhaps, it might not be individual corruption in Thompson’s sense, if it involves a regularity and hence tendency).

Lessig offers a plausible analysis of the corruption of the U.S. electoral system by the Funders. Two related questions now arise. Is Lessig’s theory of dependence corruption correct? Is the notion of dependence corruption generalizable to institutions other than political institutions and, if so, to what extent?

The extent to which Lessig’s notion of dependence corruption is generalizable is ultimately an empirical question; it is a matter of seeking to apply it widely and waiting on the outcome (see, for instance, Light’s analysis of corruption in the pharmaceutical industry (Light, Lexchin, & Darrow 2013)). However, as mentioned above in the comparison of Lessig’s account with that of Thompson, Lessig does not see his dependence account as entirely generalizable.

Unlike the causal account of corruption (see section 2.2 above), Lessig’s notion of institutional corruption commits him only to normatively neutral institutional purposes (Lessig 2014; Lessig 2013b: 14) rather than to morally good or otherwise valuable institutional purposes. Accordingly, by Lessig’s lights, to say of a university that it has as a fundamental purpose to educate (to some objectively acceptable, minimum standard) is merely to say that this is a de facto fundamental purpose. Therefore, being market-based it could change its order of priorities; i.e., it would be perfectly entitled to prioritize profit over educational standards, just as, for instance, a retail store is perfectly entitled to prioritize profit over its standards of service to its customers.

According to Lessig, dependence corruption does not necessarily involve corrupt persons. As we have seen, Lessig’s favored example of dependence corruption is the dependency of the outcome of U.S. elections on a small group of large funders of those campaigning for political office rather than on the American people. Lessig suggests that those who engage in dependence corruption could be “good souls” (Lessig 2011: 17). Here we need to keep in mind distinctions between being evil and being corrupt, and between being corrupt and being morally responsible for one’s corruption. A corrupt person is not necessarily an evil person. After all, as we have seen, a corrupt person might only be corrupt qua institutional actor. Thus a corrupt police officer might be a good father and husband. Moreover, corruption admits of degrees. So a corrupt police officer might be a so-called grass-eater rather than a so-called meat-eater; their corrupt character might only manifest itself in relatively minor forms of corruption, e.g., minor bribe-taking, rather than in major forms of corruption, e.g., on-selling large quantities of heroin seized from drug dealers.

What of moral responsibility and corruption? Consider Lessig’s own favored example of dependence corruption. Surely, moral responsibility for corruption of the U.S. electoral system can be assigned to U.S. legislators, in particular, as well as the Funders who finance campaigns in the expectation (presumably) of favorable legislation if their candidates are elected. Lessig distinguishes between

responsibility for changing individual behavior within the system and responsibility for changing the system itself. (Lessig 2013a: 15)

According to Lessig

the sin of a Congressman within such a system is not that she raises campaign money. It is that she doesn’t work to change the corruption that this dependence upon a small set of funders produced. (Lessig 2013a: 15)

So apparently direct participation in the corruption of the electoral system by legislators and (?) Funders is not a sin. Lessig’s claim here might be that the corruptors of the U.S. electoral system are not engaged in sinful acts because they are not morally responsible for this wrongdoing. This claim is open to question. The actions of the legislators and Funders (and, for that matter, the lobbyists) that are constitutive of dependence corruption (offering and receiving (directly and indirectly) campaign funds) are avoidable and the legislators and Funders are, or ought to be, aware of the institutional damage being done by their combined actions. Moreover, in suggesting that the legislators have a moral responsibility to change the system, Lessig, in effect, concedes as much. How could they have a moral responsibility to change the system if they were not aware of it and their role in it?

What might be influencing Lessig at this point is the degree of the moral responsibility, specifically, full and partial responsibility. It is the combined effect of the many individual actions of a large number of legislators (and Funders and lobbyists) that does the institutional damage. Therefore, each only makes a small causal contribution and each, therefore, only has a small share in the moral responsibility for the outcome. Moreover, in relation to changing the system, there is a need for joint action; it is a joint moral responsibility involving shared partial individual responsibility. Thus legislators could, and know they could, jointly act to enact campaign finance reform to address the problem of dependency by, for example, restricting campaign contributions. Accordingly, the moral responsibility in play is a species of collective responsibility; specifically, joint moral responsibility (Miller 2010: Chapter 4).

Ceva & Ferretti understand political corruption widely to include not only the corruption of politicians but of public officials in general, including police officers, members of the professions, such as doctors and teachers, and others in the public sector. They define political corruption in terms of two individually necessary and jointly sufficient conditions: “There must be a public official who (1) acts in her institutional capacity as an officeholder (office condition) (2) for the pursuit of an agenda whose rationale may not be vindicated as coherent with the terms of the mandate of her power of office (mandate condition)” (Ceva & Ferretti 2021: 19). The first condition, namely that political corruption involves a public official who acts in her institutional capacity, is familiar (see above). What of condition (2), the mandate condition?

The mandate condition concerns the motive or reason guiding the office holder’s action; the action is performed for the pursuit of an agenda with a rationale. So the officeholder’s action considered in itself might or might not be an exercise of a constitutive institutional right or duty of the office in question. But what is this rationale that would render the action corrupt? The rationale in question is one that “may not be vindicated as coherent with the terms of the mandate of her power of office”. The key notion here is that of coherence with the mandate of the powers of office. Here the powers of office are presumably simply the institutional rights and duties constitutive of an office, e.g., the right of legislators to vote on legislation, the duty not to take bribes. So, in summary, corruption involves the performance of an action(s) the motivating reason for which does not cohere with the mandate authorizing an office holder’s rights and duties qua office holder.

Ceva & Ferretti further argue that the relations between organizational roles generate a deontic dimension. For instance, they say: “Office accountability governs the institutional relations between office holders. As participants in these relations, officeholders are established with the authority to require that one another ‘gives an account’ of their actions” (Ceva & Ferretti 2021: 25). They provide the example of a physician: “By following this course of action, the physician is also in the position of justifying her conduct to her colleagues with reference to the terms of her power mandate, thus fulfilling office accountability. By her action, the physician is accountable not only to the other doctors…but also to the hospital staff” (Ceva & Ferretti 2021:26).

Ceva & Ferretti also address the question, What is wrong with corruption? In doing so they offer a distinctive theory. According to them political corruption is inherently wrong (as opposed to wrong by virtue of its consequences) because it is “a specific form of interactive injustice consisting in a violation of the duty of office accountability” (Ceva & Ferretti 2021: 122). Thus, it turns out that political corruption is inherently wrong because it is unjust. More specifically, political corruption involves an action by an institutional member which is unjust to his colleagues since each member owes it to every other member to do his duty.

A question might arise at this point in relation to the scope of the notion of an institution that Ceva & Ferretti’s employ in their account of political corruption (understood as corruption of public institutions). For instance, are those who are entitled to vote in a democracy themselves institutional role occupants of the institution of government? Are patients in a public hospital themselves role occupants of the hospital or students in a public school role occupants of the school? Ceva & Ferretti deploy an account of a public institution according to which the answer to these questions is in each case in the negative. For on their account of the corruption of public institutions there must be an officeholder possessed of a mandate who engages in corruption. But citizens, hospital patients and school students are not office holders with mandates. Indeed, citizens are the source of the mandate as, arguably (supposing there is a mandate), are patients and if not students, at least their parents (on the students’ behalf). One untoward consequence of this view is that evidently citizens, patients and students cannot themselves directly engage in acts of corruption (understood as corruption of public institutions) or, at least, if they can their actions would fall outside Ceva & Ferretti’s theory of institutional corruption.

At any rate, to return to the question of the wrongness of corruption, we saw above that on Ceva & Ferretti’s view this consists in corruption being a form of interactive injustice. Accordingly, interactive justice goes hand in glove with office accountability. On this view a teacher who fails students who do not provide her with sexual favors, and gives high marks to those who do, is performing corrupt actions by virtue of her unjust treatment of her teaching colleagues. Ceva & Ferretti argue that the normative source (relevant to the inherent wrongness of corrupt actions) of the principle of impartiality in the practice of the assessment by teachers of their students’ work lies in the role-based relations that the teacher has with her fellow teachers (and other school staff) (Ceva & Ferretti 2021: 98). So this teacher’s action is not corrupt by virtue of the injustice done to the students (although Ceva & Ferretti agree that it would be unfair to the students), but rather by virtue of the injustice done to the teacher’s colleagues. Contrary to Ceva & Ferretti it could reasonably be claimed that the primary form of institutional corruption involved here lies in the corruption of the teacher-student relationship (and its harmful consequences). More generally, Ceva & Ferretti’s theory of political corruption evidently privileges relationships between office holders at the expense of those whom they serve.

As we saw earlier, in the paradigm cases corrupt actions are a species of morally wrong, habitual, actions. What of the motive for corrupt actions? We saw above that there are many motives for corrupt actions, including desires for wealth, status, and power. However, there is apparently at least one motive that we might think ought not to be associated with corruption, namely, acting for the sake of the good. Here we need to be careful. For sometimes actions that are done for the sake of the good are, nevertheless, morally wrong actions. Indeed, some actions that are done out of a desire to achieve the good are corrupt actions, namely, acts of so-called noble cause corruption.

This is not the place to provide a detailed treatment of the phenomenon of noble cause corruption (Kleinig 2002; Miller 2016: Chapter 3). Rather let us simply note that even in cases of noble cause corruption—contra what the person who performs the action thinks—it may well be the case that the corrupt action morally ought not to be performed; or at least the corrupt action is pro tanto morally wrong, even if it is morally permissible all things considered. Accordingly, the person who performs it may well be deceiving him or herself, or be simply mistaken when they judge that the action morally ought to be performed. So their motive, i.e., to act for the sake of what is right, has a moral deficiency. They are only acting for the sake of what they believe is morally right, but in fact it is not morally right; their belief is a false belief. So we can conclude that corrupt actions are habitual actions that are at the very least pro tanto morally wrong and quite possibly morally wrong all things considered, and therefore in all probability not motivated by the true belief that they are morally right.

Here there are more complex excuses and justifications available for what might first appear to be an act of noble cause corruption. Perhaps a police officer did not know that some form of evidence was not admissible. The police officer’s false belief that an action is right (putting forward the evidence in a court of law) was rationally dependent on some false non-moral belief (that the evidence was admissible); and the police officer came to hold that non-moral belief as a result of a rational process (he was informed, or at least misinformed, that the evidence was admissible by a senior officer). This would incline us to say that the putative act of noble cause corruption was not really an act of corruption—although it might serve to undermine a morally legitimate institutional process—and therefore not an act of noble cause corruption. This intuition is consistent with the causal account of corruption in particular. The police officer in question did perform an action that undermined a legitimate criminal justice process. However, his action was not corrupt because he is not a corruptor. He did not intend to undermine the process, he did not foresee that the process would be undermined, and (let us assume) he could not reasonably have been expected to foresee that it would be undermined. Nor is his action the expression of a corrupt character.

Earlier, it was suggested that acts of noble cause corruption are pro tanto morally wrong and that this is typically contra what the actor believes. However, it is conceivable that some acts of noble cause corruption are morally justified all things considered. Perhaps the act of noble cause corruption while wrong in itself , nevertheless, was morally justified from an all things considered standpoint. If so, we might conclude that the action was not an act of corruption (and therefore not an act of noble cause corruption). Alternatively, we might conclude that it was an act of corruption, but one of those few acts of corruption that was justified in the circumstances. Perhaps both options are possibilities.

Suppose an undercover police officer offers a “bribe” to a corrupt judge for the purpose, supposedly, of getting the judge to pass a lenient sentence on a known mafia crime boss. The police officer is actually engaged in a so-called “sting” operation as part of an anti-corruption strategy. The judge accepts the bribe and is duly convicted of a criminal offence and jailed. (Let us also assume that the judge is already so corrupt that he will not be further corrupted by being offered the bribe.) The police officer offers the bribe for the purpose of achieving a moral good, i.e., convicting a corrupt official. However, we are disinclined to call this a case of corruption. Presumably the reason for this is that in this context the “bribe” does not have a corrupting effect; in particular, it does not succeed in undermining the judicial process of sentencing the crime boss. So this is a case in which a prima facie act of noble cause corruption turns out not be an act of corruption, and therefore not an act of noble cause corruption. A less straightforward case is the one where the action does have a corrupting effect. Consider two possibilities: (i) The sting is continued for a while (to catch other corrupt judges) and paid for (by bribes) verdicts are temporarily enforced during the sting; (ii) The process of considering and accepting the money offered by the disguised police officer further despoils the judge’s character but has no further effect on court proceedings (because the judge is arrested within minutes). In both cases, arguably, the officer conducting the sting operations committed an act of corruption.

What of morally justified acts of noble cause corruption. Suppose someone bribes an immigration official in order to ensure that his friend—who is ineligible to enter Australia—can in fact enter Australia, and thereby have access to life-saving hospital treatment. This act of bribery is evidently an act of institutional corruption; a legitimate institutional process has been subverted. However, the person acted for the sake of doing what he believed to be morally right; his action was an instance of noble cause corruption. Moreover, from an all things considered standpoint—and in particular, in the light of the strength of the moral obligations owed to close friends when their lives are at risk—his action may well be morally justified. Accordingly, his act of corruption may well not have a corrupting effect on himself. Plausibly, this explains any tendency we might have not to describe his action as an action of corruption. But from the fact that the person was not corrupted it does not follow that the act did not corrupt. Moreover, it does not even follow that some person or other was not corrupted. Clearly, in our example, the immigration official was corrupted and, therefore, the action was pro tanto morally wrong, even if the action was morally right all things considered.

In this section the following propositions have been advanced: (a) the phenomenon of noble cause corruption is a species of corruption, and it is seen to be so by the lights of the causal account of corruption in particular; (b) conceivably, some acts of noble cause corruption are morally justified all things considered; (c) instances of structural corruption favored by Lessig and/or Thompson are potentially cases of noble cause corruption, but this is not necessarily the case.

Thus far our concern has been with theorizing institutional corruption. Indeed, most of the philosophical work undertaken to date has consisted in such theorizing. However, there are some salient exceptions to this. For instance, Pogge has suggested undermining the international borrowing privileges of authoritarian governments who have removed democratic governments (Pogge 2002 [2008]: Chapter 10); Wenar (2016) argues for the enforcement of property rights (popular resource sovereignty) in relation to the resources curse; Lessig (Lessig 2011) has elaborated a raft of specific measures to reform the system of campaign contributions in the U.S.; Alexandra and Miller (2010) have outlined ways to utilize reputational devices in some sectors in which reputational loss hurts the “bottom line” (see also Brennan & Pettit 2005 for an account of the theoretical underpinnings of such practical reforms).

However, at a more general level there is an apparent need on the part of philosophers to conceptualize the notion of an anti-corruption system or, more broadly, an integrity system for institutions (Klitgaard 1988; Pope 1997; Anechiarico & Jacobs 1998; Klitgaard et al. 2000; Preston & Sampford 2002; Baker 2005; Miller 2017). An integrity system is an institutional arrangement the purpose of which is to promote ethical attitudes and behavior and, crucially, to prevent or, at least, reduce institutional corruption. For instance, an integrity system for a police organization might consist of a set of laws and regulations, an internal affairs department comprised of corruption investigators, an external oversight body, professional reporting mechanisms, an enforceable code of ethics, a complaints and discipline process, and so on. The contribution of philosophers to integrity systems has been threefold. Firstly, they have offered synoptic or “birds-eye” views of the architecture of such systems and in so doing determined whether they are fit for normative institutional purpose. Naturally, this work presupposes theories of the normative institutional purposes of the institutions in question (Lessig 2011; Thompson 1995). Secondly, they have addressed a variety of ethical issues that have arisen in the design and implementation of integrity systems and their various institutional components. Consider, for instance, the range of ethical issues that arise in relation to anti-corruption systems for police organizations, e.g., entrapment, privacy/surveillance (Miller 2016). Thirdly, they have identified the underlying causal and/or rational basis of the corruption and, in light of this, designed appropriate anti-corruption measures. (Pogge 2002 [2008]: Chapter 6; Lessig 2011); van den Hoven, Miller, & Pogge 2017). An important set of structural problems facilitating corruption are collective action problems, e.g., regulatory arbitrage in the global financial system and tax havens (Obermayer & Obermaier 2016; Rothstein & Varraich 2017). One kind of solution proposed is that of an enforceable cooperative scheme at the international level (Eatwell & Taylor 2000).

Integrity systems can be thought of as being either predominantly reactive or predominantly preventive, albeit the distinction is somewhat artificial since there is always a need for both reactive elements, e.g., investigations of corrupt actions, and preventive elements, e.g., ethics training and transparency mechanisms. Reactive systems are fundamentally linear. They frame laws and regulation that set out a series of offences, wait for transgressions, investigate, adjudicate and take punitive measures. In many areas, including institutional corruption, resources are limited and, thus, ethically informed decisions have to be made in relation to the prioritization of corrupt activity to be investigated and to what extent. This ethical problem is to be distinguished from the problem of under-resourcing motivated by a desire to hamstring anti-corruption initiatives. Moreover, both problems are to be distinguished from the debate between those who favor increased laws and regulations to combat, for instance, financial corruption, and those who argue for a decrease in such laws and regulations since they unnecessarily increase the cost of doing business.

Preventive institutional mechanisms for combating corruption can be divided into four categories. Mechanisms designed to reduce the motivation to engage in corruption, e.g., ethics education programs; mechanisms to reduce the capacity of those motivated to engage in corruption, e.g., legislation to downsize oligopolies to prevent cartels (Rose-Ackerman 1999), exploitation of the lack of trust between corruptors (Lambsdorff 2007), democratization and the separation of powers (“power corrupts” (Acton 1887 [1948: 364]) to reign in powerful, corrupt governments (Johnston 2014); mechanisms to eliminate or reduce the opportunity to engage in corruption, e.g., conflict of interest provisions; mechanisms to expose corrupt behavior, e.g., oversight bodies, media organizations (Pope 1997; Spence et al. 2011).

It is self-evident that there is need for both reactive and preventive elements if an integrity system is to be adequate. This point obtains whether or not the integrity system in question pertains to a single organization, an industry, an occupational group, or an entire society. However, the reactive and preventive elements need to cohere in an overall holistic integrity system (Miller 2017). A further point often overlooked is that if an integrity system is to be effective it presupposes a framework of accepted social norms in the sense of socially accepted moral principles. Social norms provide the standards which determine what counts as corruption. Moreover, in so doing they determine whether or not such behavior will be tolerated or not. Revealing corruption has very little effect if the wider community to whom the corruption is revealed are tolerant or otherwise accepting of it.

Corruption is a highly diverse phenomenon, including bribery, nepotism, false testimony, cheating, abuse of authority and so on. Moreover, corruption takes different forms across the spectrum of institutions giving rise to political corruption, financial corruption, police corruption, academic corruption and so on. The causal theory of corruption is a sustained attempt to provide an account which accommodates this diversity. In doing so it emphasizes the causal as well as the normative dimension of institutional corruption. The most influential contemporary philosophical theories of political corruption are those of Dennis Thompson and Lawrence Lessig. Moreover, Lessig’s notion of dependence corruptions looks to be generalizable to a degree to institutions other than political institutions. Likewise the mechanism that lies at the heart of Thompson’s theory may be generalizable to a degree to institutions other than political institutions. However, as they stand, neither of these theories provides a general or comprehensive theory of institutional corruption (and Lessig’s theory, at least, is not intended to do so). The wide diversity of corrupt actions implies that there may well need to be a correspondingly wide and diverse range of specific anti-corruption measures to combat corruption in its different forms, and indeed in its possibly very different contexts. Recent decades have seen the rise of whole systems of anti-corruptions mechanisms encased in what are referred to as integrity systems. Here we can distinguish reactive from preventive elements of an integrity or anti-corruption system and, arguably, an effective integrity system should integrate reactive and preventive elements in an overall holistic system.

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  • Pritchard, Michael S., 1998, “Bribery: The Concept”, Science and Engineering Ethics , 4(3): 281–286. doi:10.1007/s11948-998-0019-9
  • Reich, Robert B., 2015, Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few , New York: Alfred A. Knoff
  • Resnik, David B., 2007, The Price of Truth: How Money Affects the Norms of Science , New York: Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195309782.001.0001
  • Rose-Ackerman, Susan, 1999, Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences and Reform , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Rothstein, Bo and Aiysha Varraich, 2017, Making Sense of Corruption , Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9781316681596
  • Sandel, Michael, J., 2012, What Money Can’t Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets , London: Penguin.
  • Schmidtz, David (ed.), 2018, Social Philosophy and Policy , 35(2).
  • Sharman, J.C., 2017, The Despot’s Guide to Wealth Management: On the International Campaign Against Grand Corruption , Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  • Sparling, Robert, 2019, Political Corruption , Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  • Spence, Edward H., Andrew Alexandra, Aaron Quinn, and Anne Dunn, 2011, Media, Markets and Morals , Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Thompson, Dennis F., 1995, Ethics in Congress: From Individual to Institutional Corruption , Washington DC: Brookings Institute.
  • –––, 2013, “Two Concepts of Corruption: Individual and Institutional”, Edward J. Safra Working Papers 16. doi:10.2139/ssrn.2304419
  • –––, 2018, “Theories of Institutional Corruption”, Annual Review of Political Science , 21: 495–513. doi:10.1146/annurev-polisci-120117-110316
  • Van den Hoven, Jeroen, Seumas Miller and Thomas Pogge (eds.), 2017, Designing-in Ethics , New York: Cambridge University Press. doi:10.1017/9780511844317
  • Walsh, Adrian and Richard Giulianotti, 2006, Ethics, Money and Sport , London: Routledge.
  • Warren, Mark E., 2004, “What Does Corruption Mean in a Democracy”, American Journal of Political Science , 48(2): 328–343. doi:10.2307/1519886
  • –––, 2006, “Political Corruption as Duplicitous Exclusion” PS: Political Science and Politics , 39(4): 803–807. doi:10.1017/S1049096506060975
  • Wenar, Leif, 2016, Blood Oil: Tyrants, Violence and the Rules that Run the World , Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Wheatley, Martin, 2012, The Wheatley Review of LIBOR, , London: HM Treasury. [ Wheatley 2012 available online ]
  • Woolley, Samuel and Philip Howard, 2019, Computational Propaganda, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • World Bank, 1997, Helping Countries Combat Corruption: The Role of the World Bank , Washington DC: World Bank. [ World Bank 1997 available online ]
How to cite this entry . Preview the PDF version of this entry at the Friends of the SEP Society . Look up topics and thinkers related to this entry at the Internet Philosophy Ontology Project (InPhO). Enhanced bibliography for this entry at PhilPapers , with links to its database.
  • Convention Against the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions , Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 15 February 1999.

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How to Stop Corruption Essay: Guide & Topics [+4 Samples]

Corruption is an abuse of power that was entrusted to a person or group of people for personal gain. It can appear in various settings and affect different social classes, leading to unemployment and other economic issues. This is why writing an essay on corruption can become a challenge.

Our specialists will write a custom essay specially for you!

One “how to stop corruption” essay will require plenty of time and effort, as the topic is too broad. That’s why our experts have prepared this guide. It can help you with research and make the overall writing process easier. Besides, you will find free essays on corruption with outlines.

  • ✍️ How to Write an Essay
  • 💰 Essay Examples
  • 💲 Topics for Essay

✍️ How to Write an Essay on Corruption

Before writing on the issue, you have to understand a few things. First , corruption can take different forms, such as:

  • Bribery – receiving money or other valuable items in exchange for using power or influence in an illegal way.
  • Graft – using power or authority for personal goals.
  • Extortion – threats or violence for the person’s advantage.
  • Kickback – paying commission to a bribe-taker for some service.
  • Cronyism – assigning unqualified friends or relatives to job positions.
  • Embezzlement – stealing the government’s money.

Second , you should carefully think about the effects of corruption on the country. It seriously undermines democracy and the good name of political institutions. Its economic, political, and social impact is hard to estimate.

Let’s focus on writing about corruption. What are the features of your future paper? What elements should you include in your writing?

Just in 1 hour! We will write you a plagiarism-free paper in hardly more than 1 hour

Below, we will show you the general essay on corruption sample and explain each part’s importance:

You already chose the paper topic. What’s next? Create an outline for your future writing. You’re better to compose a plan for your paper so that it won’t suffer from logic errors and discrepancies. Besides, you may be required to add your outline to your paper and compose a corruption essay with headings.

At this step, you sketch out the skeleton:

  • what to write in the introduction;
  • what points to discuss in the body section;
  • what to put into the conclusion.

Take the notes during your research to use them later. They will help you to put your arguments in a logical order and show what points you can use in the essay.

For a long-form essay, we suggest you divide it into parts. Title each one and use headings to facilitate the reading process.

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🔴 Introduction

The next step is to develop a corruption essay’s introduction. Here, you should give your readers a preview of what’s coming and state your position.

  • Start with a catchy hook.
  • Give a brief description of the problem context.
  • Provide a thesis statement.

You can always update and change it when finishing the paper.

🔴 Body Paragraphs

In the body section, you will provide the central points and supporting evidence. When discussing the effects of this problem in your corruption essay, do not forget to include statistics and other significant data.

Every paragraph should include a topic sentence, explanation, and supporting evidence. To make them fit together, use analysis and critical thinking.

Get an originally-written paper according to your instructions!

Use interesting facts and compelling arguments to earn your audience’s attention. It may drift while reading an essay about corruption, so don’t let it happen.

🔴 Quotations

Quotes are the essential elements of any paper. They support your claims and add credibility to your writing. Such items are exceptionally crucial for an essay on corruption as the issue can be controversial, so you may want to back up your arguments.

  • You may incorporate direct quotes in your text. In this case, remember to use quotation marks and mark the page number for yourself. Don’t exceed the 30 words limit. Add the information about the source in the reference list.
  • You may decide to use a whole paragraph from your source as supporting evidence. Then, quote indirectly—paraphrase, summarize, or synthesize the argument of interest. You still have to add relevant information to your reference list, though.

Check your professor’s guidelines regarding the preferred citation style.

🔴 Conclusion

In your corruption essay conclusion, you should restate the thesis and summarize your findings. You can also provide recommendations for future research on the topic. Keep it clear and short—it can be one paragraph long.

Don’t forget your references!

Include a list of all sources you used to write this paper. Read the citation guideline of your institution to do it correctly. By the way, some citation tools allow creating a reference list in pdf or Word formats.

💰 Corruption Essay Examples

If you strive to write a good how to stop a corruption essay, you should check a few relevant examples. They will show you the power of a proper outline and headings. Besides, you’ll see how to formulate your arguments and cite sources.

✔️ Essay on Corruption: 250 Words

If you were assigned a short paper of 250 words and have no idea where to start, you can check the example written by our academic experts. As you can see below, it is written in easy words. You can use simple English to explain to your readers the “black money” phenomenon.

Another point you should keep in mind when checking our short essay on corruption is that the structure remains the same. Despite the low word count, it has an introductory paragraph with a thesis statement, body section, and a conclusion.

Now, take a look at our corruption essay sample and inspire!

✔️ Essay on Corruption: 500 Words

Cause and effect essay is among the most common paper types for students. In case you’re composing this kind of paper, you should research the reasons for corruption. You can investigate factors that led to this phenomenon in a particular country.

Use the data from the official sources, for example, Transparency International . There is plenty of evidence for your thesis statement on corruption and points you will include in the body section. Also, you can use headlines to separate one cause from another. Doing so will help your readers to browse through the text easily.

Check our essay on corruption below to see how our experts utilize headlines.

💲 40 Best Topics for Corruption Essay

Another key to a successful essay on corruption is choosing an intriguing topic. There are plenty of ideas to use in your paper. And here are some topic suggestions for your writing:

  • What is corruption ? An essay should tell the readers about the essentials of this phenomenon. Elaborate on the factors that impact its growth or reduce.
  • How to fight corruption ? Your essay can provide ideas on how to reduce the effects of this problem. If you write an argumentative paper, state your arguments, and give supporting evidence. For example, you can research the countries with the lowest corruption index and how they fight with it.
  • I say “no” to corruption . This can be an excellent topic for your narrative essay. Describe a situation from your life when you’re faced with this type of wrongdoing.
  • Corruption in our country. An essay can be dedicated, for example, to corruption in India or Pakistan. Learn more about its causes and how different countries fight with it.
  • Graft and corruption. We already mentioned the definition of graft. Explore various examples of grafts, e.g., using the personal influence of politicians to pressure public service journalists . Provide your vision of the causes of corruption. The essay should include strong evidence.
  • Corruption in society. Investigate how the tolerance to “black money” crimes impact economics in developing countries .
  • How can we stop corruption ? In your essay, provide suggestions on how society can prevent this problem. What efficient ways can you propose?
  • The reasons that lead to the corruption of the police . Assess how bribery impacts the crime rate. You can use a case of Al Capone as supporting evidence.
  • Literature and corruption. Choose a literary masterpiece and analyze how the author addresses the theme of crime. You can check a sample paper on Pushkin’s “ The Queen of Spades ”
  • How does power affect politicians ? In your essay on corruption and its causes, provide your observations on ideas about why people who hold power allow the grafts.
  • Systemic corruption in China . China has one of the strictest laws on this issue. However, crime still exists. Research this topic and provide your observations on the reasons.
  • The success of Asian Tigers . Explore how the four countries reduced corruption crime rates. What is the secret of their success? What can we learn from them?
  • Lee Kuan Yew and his fight against corruption. Research how Singapore’s legislation influenced the elimination of this crime.
  • Corruption in education. Examine the types in higher education institutions . Why does corruption occur?
  • Gifts and bribes . You may choose to analyze the ethical side of gifts in business. Can it be a bribe? In what cases?
  • Cronyism and nepotism in business . Examine these forms of corruption as a part of Chinese culture.
  • Kickbacks and bribery . How do these two terms are related, and what are the ways to prevent them?
  • Corporate fraud . Examine the bribery, payoffs, and kickbacks as a phenomenon in the business world. Point out the similarities and differences.
  • Anti-bribery compliance in corporations. Explore how transnational companies fight with the misuse of funds by contractors from developing countries.
  • The ethical side of payoffs. How can payoffs harm someone’s reputation? Provide your point of view of why this type of corporate fraud is unethical.
  • The reasons for corruption of public officials .
  • Role of auditors in the fight against fraud and corruption.
  • The outcomes of corruption in public administration .
  • How to eliminate corruption in the field of criminal justice .
  • Is there a connection between corruption and drug abuse ?
  • The harm corruption does to the economic development of countries .
  • The role of anti-bribery laws in fighting financial crimes.
  • Populist party brawl against corruption and graft.
  • An example of incorrigible corruption in business: Enron scandal .
  • The effective ways to prevent corruption .
  • The catastrophic consequences of corruption in healthcare .
  • How regular auditing can prevent embezzlement and financial manipulation.
  • Correlation between poverty and corruption .
  • Unethical behavior and corruption in football business.
  • Corruption in oil business: British Petroleum case.
  • Are corruption and bribery socially acceptable in Central Asian states ?
  • What measures should a company take to prevent bribery among its employees?
  • Ways to eliminate and prevent cases of police corruption .
  • Gift-giving traditions and corruption in the world’s culture.
  • Breaking business obligations : embezzlement and fraud.

These invaluable tips will help you to get through any kind of essay. You are welcome to use these ideas and writing tips whenever you need to write this type of academic paper. Share the guide with those who may need it for their essay on corruption.

This might be interesting for you:

  • Canadian Identity Essay: Essay Topics and Writing Guide
  • Nationalism Essay: An Ultimate Guide and Topics
  • Human Trafficking Essay for College: Topics and Examples
  • Murder Essay: Top 3 Killing Ideas to Complete your Essay

🔗 References

  • Public Corruption: FBI, U.S. Department of Justice
  • Anti-Corruption and Transparency: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  • United Nations Convention against Corruption: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
  • Corruption Essay: Cram
  • How to Construct an Essay: Josh May
  • Essay Writing: University College Birmingham
  • Structuring the Essay: Research & Learning Online
  • Insights from U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre: Medium
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Thank you for these great tips now i can work with ease cause one does not always know what the marker will look out fr. So this is ever so helpfull keep up the great work

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  • Corruption Essay


Essay on Corruption

Corruption refers to any act performed by individuals or a group in lieu of some form of bribes. Corruption is considered to be a dishonest and criminal act. If proven, Corruption can lead to Legal Punishments. Oftentimes the act of Corruption comprises the rights and privileges of some. It is very hard to find a definition that takes into account all the characteristics and aspects of Corruption. However, as responsible citizens of the Nation, we all must be aware of the true meaning and manifestation of Corruption in its every form so that whenever we come across it we can raise our voice against it and fight for justice. 

Place and Process of Corruption

Corruption is very common in government or private offices. The most common acts of Corruption involve some form of Bribery. Bribery involves some use of improper favours and gifts exchanged for personal gains of some sort. Moreover, Corruption is often found to be intertwined with embezzlement. Corruption can take place in many ways and in any public and private office. It is observed that most people in a position of power or authority are more likely to be involved in corrupt acts.  

The actual reasons behind Corruption are believed to be greed and selfishness. Bribery can include a range of favours like money, gifts, company shares, sexual favours, entertainment, political benefits as well as personal gain. One or more of such favors can inspire people to indulge in Corruption and preferential treatment and also inspire them to overlook criminal activities. 

Embezzlement, on the other hand, is another form of Corruption. An embezzlement is an act of withholding or concealing information about personal assets for the purpose of illegal trading or threat. Embezzlement generally involves people who were entrusted with the assets in question in the first place. Apart from being an act of Corruption, embezzlement is also an act of financial fraud. 

Another important form of Corruption is the graft. It is a global form of Corruption. It is also one of the most noteworthy and widespread corrupt practices in existence. Grafting refers to illegally using a politician's authority to achieve personal gains or goals. An eminent Example of this would be politically influential people misdirecting public funds to meet their own selfish needs.

Another important form of Corruption is extortion. Extortion means obtaining property, money or services through illegal means. Extortion takes place by taking advantage of individuals through coercion, threats or influence. It is very similar to blackmail. One of the oldest forms of Corruption is nepotism and favoritism. Both of these practices involve people being favored for a position or task due to his or her filial or familial status or ties. 

Another form of favoritism includes influence peddling. In this case, one's influence on people in power is used to get work done. The last form of Corruption is an abuse of discretion, in this type the person is power uses his or her authority to bend legal proceedings.

How to End Corruption? 

Corruption not only hinders working in an organization but also affects the economy of a country and the efficiency of various services. To stop Corruption, the government must take stricter measures. Existing laws must be strictly implemented and if the need arises, new laws are introduced. Workplaces should be strictly monitored to prevent any unethical exchange of favors. Only an end to small forms of Corruption can result in a cumulative effect and bring a significant change in Society. 


FAQs on Corruption Essay

1. How to write an essay on Corruption?

To write an essay on Corruption, the writer needs to have an understanding and get some research done on the topic. After they know something about the topic, a broad topic line and the layout of the essay can be figured out based on the number of words required to write the essay. Students can then start writing by giving a quirky and compelling headline that captures the reader's attention. After giving the headline, come the major and most important paragraph of the essay, that is, the introduction of the essay. The introduction sets the feel of the essay and should be written keeping that in mind. 

Most people who will see the essay will go through the headline and the introduction paragraph and this will set the impression if the reader will read the complete essay or not. Students can then move on to writing three to four paragraphs or more in the body part where they can explain more about Corruption, why it happens and how to solve the problem of Corruption. This will be the main content part of the essay. Then the student can conclude the essay with a nice conclusion which the reader will take with them, it should include the gist of the whole article and its important points. This is how students can write an essay on Corruption. They can also refer to Vedantu's website where they can find essays on Corruption and other topics that they can use or refer to.

2. How to prepare to write an Exam?

Essays are a form of creative writing which is often tested in Exams for a good weightage of marks. Creative writing is a skill and like all skills, it can also be learned. To write long-form content like this, where minimum word limits are given, it's necessary to note the information, one knows about the topic and then divide the topic in optimum layout to cover the maximum and minimum word limit. 

Any essay should be divided into 3 parts- The Introduction, The Body, and The Conclusion. The introduction of any essay is very important as a good introduction can really impress a teacher. The body contains the main facts, data, and explanation of the introduction. Conclusion concludes an essay with a complete list of the topic. Good words and proper use of grammar will give a different shine to your essay and the complete English Exam. 

Essay writing can be difficult for some students, but students should remember that essay writing is an easy and high-scoring area in an English Exam or test. Students can learn more about Essay Writing at Vedantu's official website where they can browse from various Examples of essays written by our best English teachers to help the students to get full marks in content writing. This is how students can write an essay in an Exam and get full marks.

3. Why does Corruption exist in Society?

Corruption is the venom that can destroy any Society. Tackling Corruption is indirectly tackling people's mindset and handling their needs by keeping the system fair and equal for everyone. The last decades have shown a lot of growth in the overall condition of the country but the Corruption rates have also sky-rocketed. Corruption can also exist because greedy people have a good network and contacts that get the work done.  Corruption can give one temporary control over their time but they should remember that they'll eventually be caught one day.

4. How to write a good body in an essay?

Essays are long-form creative writing exercises that can be often difficult for many students. The most time-consuming and biggest element of an essay is the body which comprises all the facts, explanations, and examples of the essay.  After writing a perfect and compelling introduction, the writer has to start the main heart and soul of the essay; the body. 

The body can be started by explaining the introduction statements and explaining one's opinion on the topic. These explanations and opinions can be backed up by some evidence, facts, or theories. That's how one can write a good body element in an essay. To study more about essay writing, one can check Vedantu's official website where they can browse many Examples and sample written essays on several topics by the best English teachers. Students can master the skill of essay writing with some practice and guidance.

5. What makes a good conclusion in an essay?

Essays are divided into 3 parts where the conclusion comes last after an introduction and the body. Introduction and body are important but the conclusion will decide how much the reader will take back with the conclusion is the concluding paragraph or paragraphs which need an essay with the gist of the complete essay. Unlike the introductory paragraph, which outlines the general idea of the essay, the conclusion should precisely confirm why one's thesis is correct using the facts from your supportive body paragraphs. That's why a conclusion is an important part of an essay and should be written that way. To learn more about essay writing, one can check out Vedantu's official website where they can find the format, Examples, and tips to write a good essay and a good conclusion. They'll find essays written on numerous topics by the best English teachers at Vedantu.


quotations about corruption

The mistake you make, don't you see, is in thinking one can live in a corrupt society without being corrupt oneself.

Keep the Aspidistra Flying

Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.

The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

There is something in corruption which, like a jaundiced eye, transfers the color of itself to the object it looks upon, and sees everything stained and impure.

Corruption is the flesh that covers every bone.

6,000 Proverbs and Quotes of Chukwuemeka E. O.

If you can sense the corruption in me, it is ... because there's a dose of it in you.

The Rector of Justin

As the world changes, the forms of corruption also gradually become more cunning, more difficult to point out--but they certainly do not become better.

Works of Love

Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.

Chapterhouse: Dune

If something can corrupt you, you're corrupted already.

Before the Legend: The Rise of Bob Marley

The world is full of corruption, and deceit, and deviltry -- chock full of it.

Life in Danbury

Corruption hates what is not corrupt.

A Princess of Roumania

I have seen corruption boil and bubble 'til it oerrun the stew.

Measure for Measure

Corruption wins not more than honesty.

I read all the papers Whad did I see? Page to page corruption Thank god it's not me

"Headlines", Hellbound

Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.

"Of Means and Ends", Rules for Radicals

The corruption that most citizens experience, and which is most disruptive on a daily basis, is frequently called "petty," as distinct from "venal" or "grand" corruption. Petty corruption is annoying, but for people in a hurry or for people who don't want to stand in the same queue over and over, it is expedient.

The Corruption Cure: How Citizens and Leaders Can Combat Graft

Instead of politicians, let the monkeys govern the countries; at least they will steal only the bananas.

Twitter post, ildanquotations

The worst disease in the world today is corruption. And there is a cure: transparency.

TED Talk, March 14, 2013

Do not think that you can fight corruption without while you let corruption fester within.

Problems of Life: Selections from the Writings of Rev. Lyman Abbott

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

letter to Mandell Creighton, April 5, 1887

Each of us is born with a share of purity, predestined to be corrupted by our commerce with mankind.

A Short History of Decay

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Important Quotes from Hamlet: Madness & Corruption Explored

corruption essay with quotes

Upon reading Hamlet, you may have found a few quotes inexplicable or less crucial than they are. Indeed, Shakespeare paid close attention to phrasing and wording, so plenty of lines in the play have a double meaning. That’s why our experts collected and explained the most vital and/or ambiguous Hamlet quotes.

If you’re looking for Hamlet important quotes, you’re in the right place! In this article, you’ll find famous Hamlet quotes about madness, corruption, insanity, uncertainty, revenge, and other issues. The quotes are classified by act. Note that in other articles of this guide you can find the play’s summary, character analysis, and all the themes explained. All the links are located at the end of this page.

🏰 Hamlet Act 1 Quotes

🃏 hamlet act 2 quotes, 💀 hamlet act 3 quotes, 🖤 hamlet act 4 quotes.

  • ⚔️ Hamlet Act 5 Quotes
“ O most wicked speed, to post With such dexterity to incestuous sheets! It is not nor it cannot come to good But break my heart, for I must hold my tongue. “ Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 2

This is one of the most critical of Hamlet’s madness quotes in the play. He proclaims these words after getting to know about Gertrude’s marriage with Claudius. Being too concerned about his mother’s decision to marry his uncle, Prince gets furious.

The main reason for Hamlet’s concerns is Gertrude’s instant engagement after her husband’s demise. Prince accuses his mother of not being loyal to Old Hamlet and not murmuring enough. His despair peaks when he starts perceiving all women as deceptive and two-faced creatures who cannot be trusted.

In addition to being worried about Gertrude’s quick remarriage, Hamlet also accuses her of committing incest . And, in fact, he has a right to do so!

In Shakespeare’s time, incest had a different meaning. It did not include only marrying your blood members of a family. Having any sexual relationships with in-law relatives was also considered incest. Gertrude and Claudius break the church’s laws of affinity by marrying each other. Hence, Hamlet’s frustration results from his mother’s quick remarriage and her involvement in incest.

“ All that lives must die, Passing through nature to eternity. “ Gertrude, Act 1 Scene 2

As Prince gets furious because of his mother’s quick marriage with Claudius, Gertrude tries to justify her actions. She claims that death is inevitable. So, it is essential to accept this fact.

After Old Hamlet’s demise, Gertrude quickly gets into a relationship with Claudius. She agrees that life is harsh sometimes. However, we need to move forward, overcoming all the obstacles on our way.

In the play, Gertrude takes an uncertain position. On the one hand, it seems that she is an unfaithful wife since she moves on after Old Hamlet’s death too quickly. On the other hand, marriage with Claudius opens a lot of opportunities for the Queen.

Since women’s status in society in Shakspeare’s time was insignificant, Gertrude would suffer a lot from being without a man’s protection. Hence, marriage with Claudius provides her with social security and appropriate status in society.

Did marrying Claudius was Gertrude’s only option? Probably, yes. Thus, moving on too quickly after Old Hamlet’s death was a necessity for her.

“ Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. “ Marcellus, Act 1 Scene 4

These words of Marcellus set the general tone of the play. After Old Hamlet’s death, a new ruler, Claudius, takes the throne. But is he an indeed wise monarch? Or maybe he is a great manipulator who only pretends to be a caring King while searching for benefits only for himself? He definitely fits the second characteristic.

Thus, as soon as Claudius becomes the new King of Denmark, the entire state immediately starts decaying.

Let’s explore the following Hamlet’s corruption quote in the context of the play. Marcellus says this phrase after he notices the Ghost of the dead King. Yet, the spirit is only a visible symptom of Denmark’s decay . If we dig deeper, we will understand that the whole state is suffering from Claudius’s villainy. People are manipulating others and spying upon each other. Everyone’s becoming the victim of corruption and deception.

Thus, this quote about decay accurately reflects the depressive and pessimistic atmosphere of the play.

“ Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder. “ The Ghost, Act 1 Scene 5

The Ghost does not say too much in the play. It only speaks when it stays one on one with Prince, to whom addressed this quote. Therefore, every Ghost’s phrase has value.

This quote of the Ghost reflects the general theme of revenge in the tragedy. The spirit orders Hamlet to avenge Claudius for his merciless murder. However, Prince hesitates. Should he believe the Ghost? Or should he make sure of Claudius’s villainy himself? Therefore, the quote is the root of Hamlet’s indecisiveness that progresses as the play unfolds.

“ There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio Than are dreamt of in your philosophy .” Hamlet, Act 1 Scene 5

Prince said these words during one of his conversations with Horatio. Here Hamlet claims that people must believe in what they see with their eyes.

When the news about the Ghost appeared, Prince did not believe in its existence. However, once he saw it himself, he changed his mind. Hamlet realized that the Ghost is the evidence of the afterlife, so it would be unreasonable to deny its existence.

If we explore the following quote from a broader perspective, we can connect it to skepticism. Being skeptical about something doesn’t mean denying everything if there is no proof. In fact, skepticism should provoke the desire to explore the things around and seek new experiences. Only by being curious, people have an opportunity to expand their horizons. In the other case, skepticism will have a destructive effect on human growth and development.

“ Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes, I will be brief: your noble son is mad. “ Polonius, Act 2 Scene 2

This phrase “brevity is the soul of wit” became a proverb after Shakspeare used it in Hamlet .

In general, it highlights the importance of being clear and concise while conveying a message. A long, nonsense chattering will never attract the listener’s attention. Therefore, while sharing a crucial piece of information, it is essential to be brief and straightforward.

In the context of the play, Polonius was sharing the news about Hamlet’s madness. Trying to be as convincing as possible, he does not prepare long speeches. He just states the fact: “your noble son is mad.” And people believe him. So, Polonius’s quote about madness starts the spreading of fake information about Hamlet’s insanity.

“ To be, or not to be – that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, And by opposing end them. To die- to sleep- No more; and by a sleep to say we end The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks That flesh is heir to. “ Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1

Hamlet’s monologue “To be or not to be” is one of the most dramatic parts of the play. Being too overwhelmed with the recent events, Prince questions the essence of life. He even thinks of committing suicide to escape from problems.

From the very beginning of the soliloquy, it seems like Hamlet is in favor of death. He believes that demise will end all his internal and external sufferings. However, as Hamlet dives deeper into the topic, he realizes that death is not a solution. People do not know what the afterlife brings. The fear of uncertainty after death results in plenty of Hamlet’s doubts. The quote also reflects his indecisiveness that becomes more vivid as the play unfolds.

By the end of the play, Hamlet’s hesitation gains destructive nature. His inner suffering makes him commit impulsive and thoughtless actions that lead to fatal consequences.

“ Rich gifts wax poor when givers prove unkind. “ Ophelia, Act 3 Scene 1

The romantic relationship between Ophelia and Hamlet is very uncertain and full of controversies. They are in love with each other. Yet, due to unfavorable circumstances, they are forced to stay apart from each other.

Ophelia’s father, Polonius, uses his daughter for his evil manipulations. He commands her to initiate a conversation with Hamlet and turn all his gifts back. Therefore, the readers aren’t sure whether Ophelia’s phrase is her sincere words. Why would she call Hamlet unkind if she loves him? Perhaps it was Polonius who prepared the speech for his daughter?

Overall, the quote means that even expensive gifts have no value if they were presented by a person who later turns out to be harsh and rude. In the case of Hamlet and Ophelia, it is difficult to identify whether they are indeed cruel towards each other. We can only assume that both of them become the victims of deception and manipulation. Therefore, they are forced to hide their feelings and mistreat each other by saying harsh words.

“ God has given you one face and you make yourselves another. You jig and amble, and you lisp, you nickname God’s creatures and make your wantonness your ignorance. Go to, I’ll no more on ’t. It hath made me mad. “ Hamlet, Act 3 Scene 1

Hamlet proclaims this furious speech after Ophelia returns him all his gifts back. In fact, this is one of the most dynamic madness quotes in the play. Here, Prince openly expresses his open hatred toward women, accusing them of being two-faced and deceitful.

If we explore the situation from Hamlet’s perspective, we can understand his motifs. He is disgusted by Gertrude’s quick remarriage with Claudius. He claims that his mother betrayed his father by replacing him so fast after his demise. Being too frustrated by Gertrude’s choice, Hamlet starts overgeneralizing women. He assumes that all of them are unfaithful and dishonest.

What makes this quote more dramatic is the fact that Prince says these words to Ophelia. She is an innocent lady who became the victim of Polonius’s manipulation and Hamlet’s prejudices. His accusations are completely unreasonable. Yet, being a woman in Shakspeare’s time, she did not have much power to resist Hamlet.

“ Oh, my offence is rank. It smells to Heaven. It hath the primal eldest curse upon ’t, A brother’s murder. “ Claudius, Act 3 Scene 3

Claudius says these words while praying in a chapel after he saw the troupe’s performance that revealed his guilt. The King realizes the deepness of his crime, yet he is not sorry. He is afraid of taking responsibility for this murder.

The quote is linked to the Biblical story about Cain, who murdered his brother Abel. Knowing Cain’s guilt, God curses him. Drawing a parallel between this Biblical story and his life, Claudius realizes that the situations are very similar. Therefore, he becomes scared of God’s punishment. He desperately tries to get rid of his sins, praying in the chapel.

“ O Hamlet, speak no more: Thou turn’st mine eyes into my very soul; And there I see such black and grained spots As will not leave their tinct. “ Gertrude, Act 3 Scene 4

Gertrude addresses these words to Hamlet while they are having a private conversation in her bedroom. Prince accuses her of marrying Claudius, who murdered Old Hamlet. Under pressure, Gertrude finally admits her mistake.

However, there is a question of which fault the Queen realizes. Does she admit that marrying Claudius that quickly was a thoughtless decision? Or does she truly understand that Claudius is a murderer? Shakspeare leaves this question hidden by a veil. So, we, as readers, can only make our assumptions regarding this issue.

“ Do not forget. This visitation Is but to whet thy almost blunted purpose. But look, amazement on thy mother sits. O, step between her and her fighting soul. Conceit in weakest bodies strongest works. Speak to her, Hamlet. “ The Ghost, Act 3 Scene 4

The Ghost appears in Act 3 in Gertrude’s room and speaks to Hamlet. This revenge quote reveals that the spirit still cares for his wife, despite all Prince’s accusations.

The Ghost reminds Hamlet of his main aim – to seek vengeance. By appearing this time, the spirit suggests Prince stop wasting time on offenses and pushes him for revenge.

Observing Prince’s behavior, Gertrude starts questioning her son’s sanity. She does not see and hear the Ghost, so Hamlet’s actions seem very weird to her.

“ Tomorrow is Saint Valentine’s day, All in the morning betime, And I a maid at your window, To be your Valentine. Then up he rose, and donned his clothes, And dupped the chamber door. Let in the maid that out a maid Never departed more. “ Ophelia, Act 4 Scene 5

This is one of the most dynamic of Ophelia’s madness quotes in the play. The storyline has an impressive number of challenges upon Ophelia’s slender shoulders.

Being too pressured by the suffering caused to her by Hamlet, Claudius, and Polonius, Ophelia weakens throughout the play. As the action unfolds, the readers can notice her insanity. This quote reflects Ophelia’s concerns about her maiden’s honor.

Polonius and Laertes stress the importance of protecting Ophelia’s virginity several times. But is she a virgin indeed? Judging from Ophelia’s relationship with Hamlet, we can assume that they had an intimate connection. After Polonius forbid his daughter to communicate with Prince, Hamlet insults Ophelia. As a result, the lady feels unwanted and cheap.

Father’s death, Hamlet’s involvement in it, and constant insults become too challenging for Ophelia. She starts losing her mind and ends up singing this song that represents her broken heart and lost virtue.

“ When sorrows come, they come not single spies But in battalions. “ Claudius, Act 4 Scene 5

Claudius’s words can resonate in the hearts of many people. Saying this, Hamlet’s antagonist quotes a well-known proverb: misfortune never comes singly.

Does not it seem like the whole world turns against us once we get in trouble? Claudius ascertains the veracity of this belief after Gertrude shares that Hamlet has gone nuts and killed Polonius. The King is afraid that his nephew’s shaky mental state and inadequate behavior may interfere with him ruling the country.

This possible and unfortunate outcome for him urges Claudius to take a more proactive approach. He decides to send his nephew out of Denmark.

️ ⚔️ Hamlet Act 5 Quotes

“ Oh, that that earth, which kept the world in awe, Should patch a wall t’ expel the winter’s flaw! “ Hamlet, Act 5 Scene 1

As we all have probably understood, Hamlet heavily explores themes of death, fate, and free will. He utters these words when he finally concludes that life is an extremely short term-concept. We, humans, come out of the dust of the earth and someday return to it.

The dilemma of life’s value accompanies Hamlet throughout the play. It keeps him reminiscing about it till his very death. He cannot comprehend how humble and honorable people can be killed at the hands of foul and hypocritical ones. He constantly questions if it is even worth trying to resist the fate plans if all people sooner or later end up just breathless bodies of flesh and bones.

Hamlet’s philosophical reflections unleash a discussion that may interest people till the end of time. Yet, they constrain the actions he takes.

“ I am justly killed with mine own treachery. “ Laertes, Act 5 Scene 2

This quote is of special significance. Laertes de-facto acknowledges guilt for his dishonorable plans regarding Hamlet’s slaughter.

Laertes gets stabbed with his own poisoned rapier. It is relatively ironic, considering that the poison was intended for Hamlet. Being pissed off with the cut he received from Laertes, Hamlet takes the sword from him and sticks it in his opponent. In the end, all the guilty and at least somehow involved in treason get their rightful retribution.

Nevertheless, the fact that Laertes has the courage to confess demonstrates that he is not entirely corrupted. It was the bloodthirsty desire to avenge his father that blindfolded his sanity.

“ I do prophesy th’ election lights On Fortinbras. He has my dying voice…the rest is silence “ Hamlet, Act 5 Scene 2

“The rest is silence” are the last words that Hamlet said before his death. This line is so iconic that it has become a catchphrase often used to define a fatal end.

Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2 fulfills the promise of the hero set in the beginning. After all, such a pitiful outcome was intended already in the first scenes. Hamlet considered dying whether through committing suicide or at the hands of ill-wishes. Hamlet dies from the poisoned rapier that Laertes struck him with. The final line embodies his readiness to go aloft.

The word rest stands for death, to which Hamlet finally resigns himself. The way he calls death, silence sounds both nihilistic but promising. It is nihilistic because Hamlet denies the potential afterlife (in short and simple, heaven or hell) that he may pursue. It is promising because the character eventually finds peace after the hard times of insecurity and suffering.

“ Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!… “ Horatio, Act 5 Scene 2

This quote is Horatio’s farewell tribute to Hamlet. In the turmoil of Fontibras’ invasion, a lot of people, including Prince, perish. He dies in the arms of his only devoted friend.

Horatio mourns the approaching death and wishes him to have an enchanted afterlife with angels signing to him there. From these words, it becomes clear that he sees Hamlet not only as a full-fledged heir to the throne or a rebel head. Horatio views him as a flesh and blood man that succumbed to the brutality of the situation. He sings the last lullaby that should immerse his dear friend in eternal sleep.

These specific lines convey the apotheosis of the tragedy developed in the play. Hamlet dies, unable to inherit the throne or continue a regular life on the other side of the veil. He cannot even tell the story of his suffering life to the greater audience. Hamlet assigns Horatio to complete this mission. This element differs the Shakespearean tragedy from the Greek tragedies where heroes oftentimes stay alive but writhe in agony to the end of their days.

Thanks for reading the article! We hope our explanations cleared up a few things about Hamlet . If you’re looking for more info about the play, check other articles below.

🎓 References

  • Hamlet: About the Play — Folger Shakespeare Library
  • ‘Brevity Is The Soul of Wit’ Meaning & Context of Hamlet Quote — No Sweat Shakespeare
  • Quotes from Hamlet with Examples and Analysis — Literary Devices
  • Hamlet Quotes by William Shakespeare — GoodReads
  • Notable Quotes in Hamlet — Shakespeare Navigators
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Corrupt Government Quotes

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corruption essay with quotes

Power does not corrupt men; fools, however, if they get into a position of power, corrupt power.

A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government.

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out... without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane, intolerable.

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.

A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend on the support of Paul.

Government ought to be all outside and no inside. . . . Everybody knows that corruption thrives in secret places, and avoids public places, and we believe it a fair presumption that secrecy means impropriety.

The more numerous the laws, the more corrupt the government.

We will vote for the country we want; we will vote for the future we want; we will vote for the politics we want; and we will vote to put this corrupt government cartel out of business and out of business immediately.

When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators.

Thomas Jefferson quote: Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted...

Experience hath shewn, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.

I do verily believe that a single, consolidated government would become the most corrupt government on the earth.

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys.

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself.

Amos Bronson Alcott quote: A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon...

A government, for protecting business only, is but a carcass, and soon falls by its own corruption and decay.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

When a nation is over-reliant on one or two commodities like oil or precious minerals, corrupt government ministers and their dodgy associates hoard profits and taxes instead of properly allocating them to schools and hospitals.

Lord Acton quote: Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

I think the American government is now the most corrupt government in the world.

It really is my opinion that media in general are so bad that we have to question whether the world wouldn't be better off without them altogether. They are so distortive to how the world actually is that the result is.. we see wars, and we see corrupt governments continue on.

We have, in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it.

No matter how corrupt, greedy, and heartless our government, our corporations, our media, and our religious & charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.

Debt is the fatal disease of republics, the first thing and the mightiest to undermine governments and corrupt the people.

The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since the days of Andrew Jackson...


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corruption essay with quotes

William Shakespeare

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When the sentinel Marcellus speaks the line “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark” after seeing the ghost of the former King Hamlet, he is speaking to a broadly-held societal superstition. In medieval times and the Middle Ages—the era in which Hamlet is set—the majority of people believed that the health of a nation was connected to the legitimacy of its king.  As Hamlet endeavors to discover—and root out—the “rotten” core of Denmark, he grows increasingly disgusted and perturbed by literal manifestations of death as well as “deaths” of other kinds: those of honor, decency, and indeed the state of Denmark as he once knew it. Ultimately, Shakespeare suggests a connection between external rot and internal, systemic rot, arguing that physical corruption portends and even predicts the poisoning of spiritual, political, and social affairs.

An atmosphere of poison, corruption, and death lingers over Hamlet from the play’s very first moments. The citizens of Denmark—both within the castle of Elsinore and beyond its walls—know that there is something “rotten” in their state. Marcellus, Barnardo , and Francisco —three watchmen at Elsinore—greet one another as they arrive for their nightly watch with hesitation, suspicion, and even skittishness, and soon the source of their anxiety becomes clear: an apparition of the recently-deceased King Hamlet has appeared on the castle walls several times in the last week. The ghost can hardly portend anything good, and as Hamlet and Horatio decide to investigate the apparition and its purpose, they learn that there is indeed a deep corruption at the heart of Denmark’s throne: Claudius , King Hamlet’s brother, murdered him and took his throne. The political corruption which has overtaken Denmark so disturbs Hamlet that he develops, as the play goes on, an obsession with physical corruption—with rot, decay, and the disgusting nature of death.

Throughout the play, Hamlet’s fixation with rot and corruption—both of the body and of the soul—reflects his (and his society’s) conflation of the spoilage of the outside with the deterioration of the inside. In Act 2, Hamlet tells Rosencrantz and Guildenstern that he sees the beauty of the world around him as nothing but a “foul and pestilent congregation of vapors,” demonstrating his inability to look past the nasty, foul truths which have recently been exposed to him. Thinking so much about his father’s death has given Hamlet’s thoughts an existential bent, but there is a deeper, darker pessimism that has overtaken his mind, as well—one which manifests as a preoccupation with disease and foulness. When confronting his mother Gertrude about her marriage to Claudius, his father’s murderer, he calls Claudius a “mildewed” man and refers to the “rank sweat” of their “enseamèd [marriage] bed.” Pestilence, rot, mold, and decay are never far from Hamlet’s mind—and this obsession reflects his larger anxieties about the deteriorating health not just of himself or his family, but of their very nation. After killing Polonius , Hamlet hides the man’s body in a place where, he warns Claudius, it will soon become food for the worms and begin to stink up the castle. Hamlet knows that just as bodies putrefy and grow rancid, so too does subterfuge and foul play. His obsession with rotting things shows that he truly believes Claudius’s “foul deeds” will soon reveal themselves—with or without Hamlet’s own help.

When Hamlet finds the skull of Yorick , a former court jester, while paying a visit to the graveyard just beyond the walls of Elsinore, he is flung into an existential despair—and one of the play’s most profound moments of reckoning with the finality (and the foulness) of death and decay unfolds. As Hamlet laments that all the parts of Yorick he knew in life—the man’s “infinite jest,” warmth, and geniality, but also his physical attributes, such as his tongue and his flesh—are gone forever, he realizes that all men, be they formidable leaders like Alexander the Great or a lowly fool, return to “dust.” Hamlet is both disturbed and soothed by the specifics of the body’s process of decay, and even asks the gravediggers working in the yard for detailed descriptions of how long, exactly, it takes for flesh to rot off of human bones. Hamlet’s continued fixation on the undignified but inescapable process of dying and decay shows that he feels incapable of stopping whatever is festering at the heart of Denmark—and indeed, in the end, a foreign leader named Fortinbras is the only one left to take over the Danish throne after Hamlet, Claudius, Laertes , and Gertrude all perish. Denmark had to rot in order to flourish—just as human flesh decays and fertilizes the ground beneath which it lies.

Shakespeare creates a gloomy, poisonous atmosphere throughout Hamlet in order to argue that there is a profound connection between internal rot and external decay. As the state of Denmark suffers political corruption, Shakespeare invokes another kind of corruption—rotting, fouling, and putrefying—to suggest that a corrupt state is just as odious as a decaying corpse.

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Hamlet PDF

Poison, Corruption, Death Quotes in Hamlet

O, that this too, too sullied flesh would melt, Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew.

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Thrift, thrift, Horatio! The funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.

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Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

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O, villain, villain, smiling, damnèd villain!

What a piece of work is a man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties, in form, in moving how express and admirable; in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god: the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust?

To be or not to be—that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, Or to take arms against a sea of troubles And, by opposing, end them.

Get thee to a nunnery. Why wouldst thou be a breeder of sinners? I am myself indifferent honest, but yet I could accuse me of such things that it were better my mother had not borne me…

My words fly up, my thoughts remain below; Words without thoughts never to heaven go.

CLAUDIUS: What dost thou mean by this?

HAMLET: Nothing but to show you how a king may go a progress through the guts of a beggar.

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio—a fellow of infinite jest… Where be your gibes now? your gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment that were wont to set the table on a roar?

We defy augury. There is a special providence in the fall of a sparrow. If it be now, ’tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come. The readiness is all.

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Top 20 Quotations for Corruption Essay

In this post, I am sharing the top 20 Quotations for Corruption Essay for the Students of FSc 2nd Year. Here I will share Quotes on Corruption for English Essay . I have already shared 2 essay examples on ilmihub for the students of Class 10 and Class 12.

  • Corruption in Pakistan Essay with Quotes
  • Complete Essay on Corruption with Quotes

Students who do not have essay content and need a complete essay on corruption with quotations can go to any of the above-mentioned essays and select one for them. They can also go through these Essay Examples with Quotations for other essay topics. Students who already have essay content and need only quotations can visit Essay Quotations in English . However, those who need Quotes on Corruption for the essay on Corruption may continue to this post.

Corruption Essay Quotations for Students of Class 10 and Class 12

“bribe-giver and the bribe-taker are both doomed for hell.” (حضرت محمد صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم).

  • “Corruption and bribery are like poison and a horrible disease, which need to be put down with an iron hand”. – (Muhammad Ali Jinnah)
  • “Conscience is God’s presence in man.” – (Swedenborg)
  • “Poverty is the parent of revolution and crime”. – (Aristotle)
  • “The worst disease in the world today is corruption. And there is a cure: transparency.” – (BONO)
  • “Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase.” – (Charles Caleb)
  • “Power attracts the corruptible. Suspect any who seek it.” – (Frank Herbert)
  • “Corruption is cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fiber, and destroys trust.” – (Robert Zoellick)
  • “The duty of the youth is to challenge Corruption”. (Kurt Cobain)
  • “Corruption wins not more than honesty.” – (William Shakespear)
  • “EssayCorruption is nature’s way of restoring our faith in democracy.” – (Peter Ustinov)
  • “We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office” – (Aesop)
  • “Corruption hates what is not corrupt.” – (Paul Park)
  • “I have seen corruption boil and bubble ’til it oerrun the stew.” – (William Shakespear)
  • “Corruption, the most infallible symptom of constitutional liberty.” – (Edward Gibbon)
  • “Corruption is like a ball of snow. Once it’s set a rolling it must increase.” – (C.C Cotton)
  • “Corruption is the flesh that covers every bone.” – (Chukwuemeka E. Onyejinduaka)
  • “If something can corrupt you, you’re corrupted already.” – (Bob Marley)
  • “Each of us is born with a share of purity, predestined to be corrupted by our commerce with mankind.” – (Emile Cioran)
  • “To oppose corruption in government is the highest obligation of patriotism.” – (G. Edward Griffin)
  • “Power Doesn’t corrupt people, people corrupt power.” (William Gaddis)

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Corruption in Pakistan Essay with Quotes

corruption essay with quotes

  • January 17, 2024

Kainat Shakeel

Corruption is a term that echoes in the halls of power and resonates through the diurnal lives of citizens. In the environment of Pakistan, the issue of corruption has deep historical roots, impacting the nation’s progress and societal fabric. This essay delves into the intricate web of corruption in Pakistan, exploring its historical environment, root causes, societal goods, and the ongoing battle against it. 

Corruption, a cancer that eats down at the foundations of any society, is a pressing concern in Pakistan. As we navigate through the complex geography of corruption in this South Asian nation, it becomes imperative to understand its historical environment and the factors contributing to its continuity. 

The historical environment of Corruption in Pakistan

To comprehend the current state of corruption, one must trace its origins. Pakistan’s history is marked by cases of corruption that have hindered socio-profitable development. From political dishonors to regulatory irregularities, each chapter in the nation’s history contributes to the perplexing issue of corruption. 

Root Causes of Corruption

Delving deeper, the root causes of corruption in Pakistan are multifaceted. Political insecurity, regulatory inefficiencies, and a lack of responsibility mechanisms produce a conducive environment for corruption to thrive. 

” Corruption in Pakistan is not just a legal problem; it’s a moral extremity that demands the collaborative heart of the nation to rise against it.”

Effects of corruption on society.

The ramifications of corruption extend far beyond the corridors of power. Economically, the nation suffers, and the corrosion of public trust in institutions becomes a grueling chain to overcome. 

” Corruption is the adversary of development and good governance. It must be relieved of. Both the government and the people at large must come together to achieve this public ideal.”- Pratibha Patil

Anti-corruption efforts in pakistan.

In response to the pervasive issue of corruption, Pakistan has established legal fabrics and institutions. still, the road to combating corruption is fraught with challenges, and successes are frequently accompanied by lapses. 

  ” Corruption is a cancer that eats down at a citizen’s faith in the republic, diminishes the instinct for invention and creativity, formerly-tight public budgets, and weakens the institutions of governance.”- Joe Biden

Public perception of corruption.

Public opinion plays a pivotal part in shaping the narrative around corruption. checks and statistics reflect the sentiments of the people and influence governance. 

” Corruption is a serious crime that can undermine social and profitable development in all societies. No country, region, or community is vulnerable.”- Ban Ki-moon

Role of media in combating corruption.

Media, as a watchdog, plays a vital part in uncovering loose practices. Investigative journalism and public mindfulness are essential tools in the fight against corruption. 

” Corruption in Pakistan is a shadow that looms over the nation’s progress; only by disbanding this darkness can the true eventuality of the country be realized.”

International perspectives on corruption in pakistan.

Encyclopedically, Pakistan’s struggle with corruption is scanned. cooperative efforts and international support are explored as implicit catalysts for change. 

” In the struggle against corruption in Pakistan, the armament of choice isn’t just legislation but a philanthropy will to uphold honesty and integrity.”

Reforms and recommendations.

In addressing corruption, proposed reforms and recommendations are vital. Policy changes, structural adaptations, and increased public participation are integral to the process. 

  ” The fight against corruption is in no way – ending. It’s a struggle we must each commit to, not just for ourselves but for unborn generations.”- Malala Yousafzai 

Public engagement in anti-corruption enterprise.

Grassroots movements and civil society’s active engagement contribute significantly to anti-corruption enterprise. 

” The fight against corruption in Pakistan requires not just legal reforms but an artistic shift that values translucency, responsibility, and ethical governance.”

Government responsiveness and responsibility.

The government’s commitment to combating corruption and meeting public prospects is a critical aspect of the ongoing battle. 

” The fight against corruption in Pakistan is a battle for the soul of the nation, where the people’s commitment to honesty can triumph over the sharp influence of deceitfulness.”

In conclusion, the issue of corruption in Pakistan is a multifaceted challenge that requires comprehensive and sustained sweat. As the nation grapples with its complications, a united front comprising government, civil society, and transnational support is essential for a corruption-free future.

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Kainat Shakeel is a versatile Content Writer Head and Digital Marketer with a keen understanding of tech news, digital market trends, fashion, technology, laws, and regulations. As a storyteller in the digital realm, she weaves narratives that bridge the gap between technology and human experiences. With a passion for staying at the forefront of industry trends, her blog is a curated space where the worlds of fashion, tech, and legal landscapes converge.

Half Million Quotes

Hamlet Corruption Quotes

For this relief much thanks: ’tis bitter cold, And I am sick at heart.

– William Shakespeare

This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

‘Tis an unweeded garden That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature Possess it merely.

All is not well; I doubt some foul play.

Foul deeds will rise, Though all the earth o’erwhelm them, to men’s eyes.

The canker galls the infants of the spring, Too oft before their buttons be disclosed.

But to my mind, – though I am native here And to the manner born, – it is a custom More honour’d in the breach than the observance.

They clepe us drunkards and with swinish phrase Soil our addition.

Vicious mole of nature.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

‘Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard, A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark Is by a forged process of my death Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth, The serpent that did sting thy father’s life Now wears his crown.

I have of late – but wherefore I know not – lost all my mirth, forgone all custom of exercises; and indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the earth, seems to me a sterile promontory; this most excellent canopy, the air, look you, this brave o’erhanging firmament, this majestical roof fretted with golden fire, why, it appears no other thing to me than a foul and pestilent congregation of vapours.

What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! How infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world! the paragon of animals! And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? man delights not me; no, nor woman neither, though, by your smiling, you seem to say so.

O wretched state, o bosom black as death!

Nay, but to live In the rank sweat of an unseamed bed, Stew’d in corruption, honeying and making love Over the nasty sty.

And do not spread the compost on the weeds To make them ranker.

Not where he eats, but where he is eaten: a certain convocation of politic worms are e’en at him. Your worm is your only emperor for diet: we fat all creatures else to fat us, and we fat ourselves for maggots: your fat king and your lean beggar is but variable service – two dishes, but to one table: that’s the end.

Canker of our nature.

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Essay on Corruption in Pakistan in English with quotations

English essay on corruption.

English essay on curruption for class 12 pakistan

EssayCorruption is nature's way of restoring our faith in democracy - Peter Ustinov
Corruption is cancer that steals from the poor, eats away at governance and moral fiber, and destroys trust- Robert Zoellick
Corruption is like a ball of snow. Once it's set a rolling it must increase- C.C Cotton

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As China Expands Its Hacking Operations, a Vulnerability Emerges

New revelations underscore the degree to which China has ignored, or evaded, U.S. efforts to curb its extensive computer infiltration efforts.

The silhouette of a security camera appears on a red flag with yellow stars.

By Julian E. Barnes and David E. Sanger

Julian E. Barnes reported from Washington and David E. Sanger from Berlin.

The Chinese hacking tools made public in recent days illustrate how much Beijing has expanded the reach of its computer infiltration campaigns through the use of a network of contractors, as well as the vulnerabilities of its emerging system.

The new revelations underscore the degree to which China has ignored, or evaded, American efforts for more than a decade to curb its extensive hacking operations. Instead, China has both built the cyberoperations of its intelligence services and developed a spider web of independent companies to do the work.

Last weekend in Munich, Christopher A. Wray, the F.B.I. director, said that hacking operations from China were now directed against the United States at “a scale greater than we’d seen before.” And at a recent congressional hearing, Mr. Wray said China’s hacking program was larger than that of “every major nation combined.”

“In fact, if you took every single one of the F.B.I.’s cyberagents and intelligence analysts and focused them exclusively on the China threat, China’s hackers would still outnumber F.B.I. cyberpersonnel by at least 50 to one,” he said.

U.S. officials said China had quickly built up that numerical advantage through contracts with firms like I-Soon, whose documents and hacking tools were stolen and placed online in the last week.

The documents showed that I-Soon’s sprawling activities involved targets in South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and elsewhere.

But the documents also showed that I-Soon was having financial difficulty and that it used ransomware attacks to bring in money when the Chinese government cut funding.

U.S. officials say this shows a critical weakness in the Chinese system. Economic problems in China and rampant corruption there often mean that money intended for the contractors is siphoned off. Strapped for cash, the contractors have stepped up their illegal activity, hacking for hire and ransomware, which has made them targets for retaliation and exposed other issues.

The U.S. government and private cybersecurity firms have long tracked Chinese espionage and malware threats aimed at stealing information, which have become almost routine, experts say. Far more troubling, however, have been Chinese cyberhacking efforts threatening critical infrastructure.

The intrusions, called Volt Typhoon after the name of a Chinese network of hackers that has penetrated critical infrastructure , set off alarms across the U.S. government. Unlike the I-Soon hacks, those operations have avoided using malware and instead use stolen credentials to stealthily access critical networks.

Intelligence officials believe that intrusions were intended to send a message: that at any point China could disrupt electrical and water supplies, or communications. Some of the operations have been detected near American military bases that rely on civilian infrastructure — especially bases that would be involved in any rapid response to an attack on Taiwan.

But even as China put resources into the Volt Typhoon effort, its work on more routine malware efforts has continued. China used its intelligence services and contractors tied to them to expand its espionage activity.

I-Soon is most directly connected with China’s Ministry of Public Security, which traditionally has been focused on domestic political threats, not international espionage. But the documents also show that it has ties to the Ministry of State Security, which collects intelligence both inside and outside China.

Jon Condra, a threat intelligence analyst at Recorded Future, a security firm, said I-Soon had also been linked to Chinese state-sponsored cyberthreats.

“This represents the most significant leak of data linked to a company suspected of providing cyberespionage and targeted intrusion services for the Chinese security services,” Mr. Condra said. “The leaked material indicates that I-Soon is likely a private contractor operating on behalf of the Chinese intelligence services.”

The U.S. effort to curb Chinese hacking goes back to the Obama administration, when Unit 61398 of the People’s Liberation Army, the Chinese military, was revealed to be behind intrusions into a wide swath of American industry, looking to steal secrets for Chinese competitors. To China’s outrage, P.L.A. officers were indicted in the United States, their pictures placed on the Justice Department’s “wanted” posters. None have ever stood trial.

Then China was caught in some of the boldest theft of data from the U.S. government: It stole more than 22 million security-clearance files from the Office of Personnel Management. Its hackers were undetected for more than a year, and the information they gleaned gave them a deep understanding into who worked on what inside the U.S. government — and what financial or health or relationship troubles they faced. In the end, the C.I.A. had to pull back officers who were scheduled to enter China.

The result was a 2015 agreement between President Xi Jinping and President Barack Obama aimed at curbing hacking, announced with fanfare in the White House Rose Garden.

But within two years, China had begun developing a network of hacking contractors, a tactic that gave its security agencies some deniability.

In an interview last year, Mr. Wray said China had grown its espionage resources so large that it no longer had to do much “picking and choosing” about their targets.

“They’re going after everything,” he said.

Julian E. Barnes covers the U.S. intelligence agencies and international security matters for The Times. He has written about security issues for more than two decades. More about Julian E. Barnes

David E. Sanger covers the Biden administration and national security. He has been a Times journalist for more than four decades and has written several books on challenges to American national security. More about David E. Sanger


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