Around 60 countries worldwide are viewed as “systemically corrupt,” and with globalization multiplying the avenues by which corrupt practices cross borders and span the globe, experts are debating the nature of corruption and how to stop it.
By Robert Coalson for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL)
ISN ETH Zurich 10 December 2010
EXTRACT: Systemic corruption cuts across key state institutions, runs from the top to the bottom, and is fundamentally political in nature. University of Colorado political scientist Christoph Stefes, who studies corruption in post-Soviet countries, says systemic corruption is qualitatively different from traditional notions of case-by-case malfeasance.
EXTRACT: In an interview with RFE/RL in August, Janine Wedel, a professor of public policy at George Mason University and author of Shadow Elite: How The World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, And The Free Market described this “shadow elite” in the United States and other democracies as playing “multiple, overlapping, and not fully disclosed roles” in politics, the media, think tanks, and business.
Phi Beta Iota: The book appears to be narrowly focused on politically-contrived corruption, and neglect the deep secrecy of the global financial (white collar) criminal network (legalized crime); the global and equally flexible transnational and intranational criminal networks (ostensibly illegal crime); and finally the global religious quasi-crime networks for whom money-laundering and looking the other ways is “just business.” The US political-financial networks need not instruction from others on corruption–they have perfected “embedded” corruption along with what one author calls Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, or in its cruder form, Weapons of Mass Deception–The Uses of Propaganda in Bush’s War on Iraq). The GOOD NEWS is that transparency is the emergent meme, crowd-sourcing is displacing taxation without representation, and on balance, the future looks bright.