2.2 Understanding corruptionIt is very easy to talk about corruption, but like many other complex phenomena, it is difficult to define corruption in concise and concrete terms. Not surprising, there is often a consensus as to what exactly constitutes this concept. There is always a danger as well that several people may engage in a discussion about corruption while each is talking about a different thing completely (Ahmadi-Esfahani, 2007). But in recent years there is a body of theoretical and empirical research on corruption. Corruption has no single definition; it varies from region to region and remains largely contextual (Gould, 1991). In fact, understanding the problem of corruption remains a problem in itself (van der Merwe, 2001). Despite the fact that most people, most of the time, know corruption when they see it, defining the concept does raise difficult theoretical and empirical questions. This is because it is difficult to generalise about the form that corruption assumes in different country contexts (Robinson, 1998),as it may refer to many different human activities and behaviour in differing circumstances. As the causes and effects of corruption are different depending on the context of the country, it is perhaps not surprising that it is difficult to formulate a single comprehensive definition that covers all the manifestations of corruption. As a result of this difficulty, it has been noted that much of the literature adopts a minimalist definition, concise and broad enough to be of use in most instances of corruption (Pearson, 2005). To avoid the confusion of definition of corruption, this paper gives an operational definition of corruption as conceptualized by some studies. Corruption is like cancer, retarding economic development. According to Eigen (2001) corruption is seen as a “daunting obstacle to sustainable development”, a constraint on education, health care and poverty alleviation, and a great impediment to the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by half the number of people living in extreme poverty by 2015.The World Bank defines corruption as the abuse of public office for private gains. Public office is abused through rent seeking activities for private gain when an official accepts, solicits, or extorts a bribe. Public office is also abused when private agents actively offer bribes to circumvent public policies and processes for competitive advantage and profit. Public office can also be abused for personal benefit even if no bribery occurs, through patronage and nepotism, the theft of state assets or the diversion of state resources (World Bank 1997). A public official is corrupt if he accepts money for doing something that he is under duty to do or that he is under duty not to do. Corruption is a betrayal of trust resulting directly or indirectly from the subordination of public goals to those of the individual. Thus a person who engages in nepotism has committed an act of corruption by putting his family interests over those of the larger society (Gire 1999).In Asian Development Bank perspectives of corruption as cited by Agbu (2001), corruption is defined as the behaviour of public and private officers who improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves and/or those closely related to them, or induce others to do so, by misusing the position in which they are placed. Systemic corruption also referred to as entrenched corruption, occurs where bribery (money in cash or in kind) is taken or given in a corrupt relationship. These include kickbacks, pay-off, sweeteners, greasing palms, etc) on a large or small scale. It is regularly experienced when a license or a service is sought from government officials. It differs from petty corruption in that it is not as individualized. Systemic corruption is apparent whenever the administration itself transposes the expected purposes of the organizations; forcing participants to follow what otherwise would be termed unacceptable ways and punishing those who resist and try to live up to the formal norms (International Center for Economic Growth, 1999).In an elaborate analysis, Alatas (1990) divided corruption into seven distinct types: autogenic, defensive, extortive, investive, nepotistic, supportive, and transactive. Autogenic corruption is self-generating and typically involves only the perpetrator. A good example would be what happens in cases of insider trading. A person learns of some vital information that may influence stocks in a company and either quickly buys or gets rid of large amounts of stocks before the consequences arising from this information come to pass. Defensive corruption involves situations where a person needing a critical service is compelled to bribe in order to prevent unpleasant consequences being inflicted on his interests. For instance, a person who wants to travel abroad within a certain time frame needs a passport in order to undertake the journey but is made to pay bribes or forfeit the trip. This personal corruption is in self-defense. Extortive corruption is the behavior of a person demanding personal compensation in exchange for services. Investive corruption entails the offer of goods or services without a direct link to any particular favor at the present, but in anticipation of future situations when the favor may be required. Nepotistic corruption refers to the preferential treatment of, or unjustified appointment of friends or relations to public office, in violation of the accepted guidelines.The supportive type usually does not involve money or immediate gains, but involves actions taken to protect or strengthen the existing corruption. For example, a corrupt regime or official may try to prevent the election or appointment of an honest person or government for fear that the individual or the regime might be probed by the successor(s). Finally, transactive corruption refers to situations where the two parties are mutual and willing participants in the corrupt practice to the advantage of both parties. For example, a corrupt businessperson may willingly bribe a corrupt government official in order to win a tender for a certain contract. The focus in this paper will be on the extortive, nepotistic, and transactive corruption, not only because they appear to be at the core of the corruption phenomenon, but also because the other forms appear to be the offshoot of these three fundamental types. There would be no defensive corruption in the absence of the extortive type.As noted by Pearson (2005), most of these broad definitions focus on corruption in the public sector, although there is recognition that corruption may also be present in the private sector. Likewise, as this study examines corruption as a systemic societal issue, it will, therefore, consider the broader effects of corruption as a prevalent phenomenon. Thus, in this dissertation, corruption would be described as ‘the abuse of public roles or resources for private benefit’ (Johnson, 1998) and ‘an act done with a intent to give some advantage inconsistent with official duty and the rights of others'(Lexicon, 2005) These descriptions apparently only cover the recipients of proceeds of corruption. Thus, to also embody those who are accomplices alongside these recipients, corruption in this dissertation is additionally described as the facilitation of officials to confer undeserved benefits and advantage. In this sense, corruption involves behaviour on the part of officials in the public sector through which they improperly and unlawfully enrich themselves, or those close to them, by the misuse of the public power entrusted to them (Jayawickrama, 2005), as well as the facilitation of these officials to behave in such manner. It is not unlikely that the terms in these descriptions may be contested in actual cases but as a whole, they fit cases of a pervasive trend of corruption, which is the form of corruption on which this research concentrates. The most commonly cited definition of corruption is the concise one used by the World Bank: “The abuse of public office for private gain” (World Bank 2006). Although corruption is often associated with the exchange of favours for bribes, the above definition includes nonmonetary transactions, such as nepotism and influence peddling, and actions that don’t refer to exchanges, such as forgery and outright embezzlement. The definition used by UNDP is more comprehensive: “The misuse of public power, office or authority for private benefit – through bribery, extortion, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, speed money or embezzlement” (UNDP 2004).A weakness of both the above definitions is that they limit corruption to the public sphere. The definition used by Transparency International opens up to include private sector corruption: “The misuse of entrusted power for private gain” (TI 2007). Most development agencies use one of the above definitions or ones similar to them. But while the early years focused largely on the level of personalised transactions ( Klitgaard 1988), it is now increasingly recognised that corruption is often a systematically ingrained political problem that transcends the individual level (, Mungiu Pippidi 2006). There is therefore a need to include this more systemic dimension of corruption and move away from the current focus on purely private gain. The suggestion here is for such a modified definition: “The abuse of entrusted authority for illicit gain”. Like the World Bank and TI definitions, this one is short and clear. It can cover all transactions between actors in state and non-state spheres where the structural or positional relation between the parties may influence the outcome, but still can take account of nontransactional corruption like forgery. The expression “entrusted authority” focuses on the ability to take decisions where both parties accept the legitimacy of the position to do so, whether formal (“power”) or informal (custom, norm). It covers individual as well as systemic corruption under neo-patrimonial systems and state capture. The term illicit – “forbidden by law, rules or custom” (Oxford Concise Dictionary) – points to the fact that not all acts of corruption are necessarily illegal. But corrupt acts are clearly understood as not fair, so either information is withheld from the other party (information asymmetry is important to many forms of corruption), or the power relations are such that the other party cannot withdraw from or change the outcome of the transaction much. The focus is also on gains, which are understood to be financial or economic and thus in principle should be possible to operationalise and measure. One weakness of this definition is that “abuse” may imply that this is seen as purely a personal choice outcome. As the political analyses note, however, much of the large-scale and systemic corruption is not person-dependent. It is rather an integral part of how the political and administrative systems are structured and how the political actors therefore must act in order to ensure the continuation of the system and their own group’s control of political and economic resources. This understanding of corruption has major implications for how some of the work on studying it needs to be structured.Finally with Legalistic view, According to the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (or PRECCA) the definition of corruption is somewhat convoluted: “General offence of corruption Any person who, directly or indirectly-(a) accepts or agrees or offers to accept any gratification from any other person, whether for the benefit of himself or herself or for the benefit of another person; or(b) gives or agrees or offers to give to any other person any gratification, whether for the benefit of that other person or for the benefit of another person, in order to act, personally or by influencing another person so to act, in a manner-(i) that amounts to the- (aa) illegal, dishonest, unauthorised, incomplete, or biased; or (bb) misuse or selling of information or material acquired in the course of the, exercise, carrying out or performance of any powers, duties or functions arising out of a constitutional, statutory, contractual or any other legal obligation; (ii) that amounts to- (aa) the abuse of a position of authority; (bb) a breach of trust; or (cc) the violation of a legal duty or a set of rules,(iii) designed to achieve an unjustified result; or(iv) that amounts to any other unauthorised or improper inducement to do or not to do anything, is guilty of the offence of corruption.