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Interpreting CorruptionCulture and Politics in the Pacific Islands$
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Peter Larmour

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835149

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835149.001.0001

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What Counts as ‘Corruption’?

What Counts as ‘Corruption’?

Chapter:
(p.42) Chapter 3 What Counts as ‘Corruption’?
Source:
Interpreting Corruption
Author(s):

Peter Larmour

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824835149.003.0003

This chapter considers what counts as corruption in the social sciences, law, and public opinion in the regions and institutions discussed in the previous chapter. Talk about corruption implies thinking about its opposite, the “naturally wholesome” state of affairs that has become corrupted. But context matters here too: what is unwholesome in some contexts, for example in professional work, may be wholesome in others, for example within the family. Corruption is not a simple idea. The literature has identified three types of it, with one type—policy corruption—that may be entirely legal. There are at least six ways that social scientists have defined it. And the study of ethics suggests at least three ways in which corruption is wrong—consequentialism being influential among donors and international institutions.

Keywords:   grand corruption, petty corruption, policy corruption, ethics, consequentialism

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