Publication: Corruption as Social Order
To understand why corruption has become the crucial issue for the latest generation of protest movements and uprisings, from Tunisia to Moldova and from India to Brazil, public corruption is best conceived as part of a broader social order context and not at individual level. Presuming corruption to be the exception and public integrity the norm in every society does not reflect the reality and can lead to erroneous development strategies, as norm building and norm enforcement require two very different approaches. Corruption is hardly a social ‘malady’ to be eradicated, but rather a default governance order, as all states have started from being ‘owned’ by a few individuals who control all resources to eventually reach a situation when the state represents everybody equally and shares public resources equitably. Particularism is a natural inclination--people tend to favor their own, be it family, clan, race or ethnic group: treating the rest of the world fairly seems to be a matter of extensive social evolution and sufficient resources. The public-private separation in public affairs and the complete autonomy of state from private interest are exceptions in the present world, difficult to reach and difficult to sustain as well.
“Mungiu-Pippidi, Alina. 2017. Corruption as Social Order. World Development Report 2017 Background Paper;. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/27046 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”