What Is Political Corruption

DOI: 10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-12-133-138
Yu. Nisnevich (jnisnevich@hse.ru),
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20, Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Abstract. The article analyzes the definitions of political corruption based on the following approaches used in political science to classify forms and manifestations of corruption: subject-oriented, actor-based and targeted. Within the framework of these approaches, we offer an updated definition of political corruption which can involve public officials of all levels. Political corruption is instrumentally defined as the unlawful use by a public official of various types of administrative resources of public authority to extract personal and (or) group political benefits (political enrichment), including in favor of third parties. The author singles out such form of corruption as state policy corruption, the essence of which is to skew the state policy in favor of private interests at the expense of public interests in order to unlawfully gain both tangible economic and intangible political benefits. The institutional mechanism of state policy corruption is the unlawful use by public officials of its legislative and regulatory administrative resources not to implement public policy in order to realize national interests and goals in various spheres of life of society and the state, but to create “rules of the game” that allow obtaining illegal advantage, to extract personal and (or) group benefit, which may have both tangible and intangible expression. Actors of such corruption can be senior public officials, whose competence includes adopting laws and regulations that determine state policy in various areas and mechanisms for its implementation. It is noted that state policy corruption is characterized by “autocorruption” – a situation where there is no external stimulation to commit a corruption act, it is not necessary, and its executor and final beneficiary are the same actor and (or) actors belonging to the same community. The author identifies the relationship between state policy corruption as a symbiosis of political and economic corruption at the highest levels of power and the peak of systemic corruption with corrupt state capture.

Keywords: classification of forms of corruption, political corruption, state policy corruption, administrative resources, state capture


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For citation:
Nisnevich Y. What Is Political Corruption. World Eonomy and International Relations, 2020, vol. 64, no. 12, pp. 133-138. https://doi.org/10.20542/0131-2227-2020-64-12-133-138

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