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Corruption in contemporary politicsA new travel guide$
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James L. Newell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780719088919

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719088919.001.0001

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The causes and explanations of political corruption

The causes and explanations of political corruption

(p.43) 3 The causes and explanations of political corruption
Corruption in contemporary politics

James L. Newell

Manchester University Press

The chapter explores how corruption can be explained or accounted for. It argues that there are two very broad questions facing scholars who have sought to explain corruption: 1) Under what conditions will individuals become caught up in it either as corruptors or the corrupted? 2) What explains why levels of corruption appear to be higher in some contexts than in others? The two questions, though related, are different. Thus, one of the suggestions one might make to explain why corruption seems more widespread among Nigerian than among UK civil servants, say, is that the former are paid much less than the latter. But though lower salaries might throw light on why there is more corruption among Nigerian than among British civil servants generally, it will not help us to understand why some Nigerian civil servants, assuming their salaries are uniformly low, behave corruptly while others remain honest. The chapter is therefore divided into two sections corresponding to the questions identified above followed by a section drawing some conclusions for the issue to be considered in the following chapter: the mechanisms and dynamics of corruption.

Keywords:   Corruption, Causes, Explanations

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