CORRUPTION The Crux of the Matter or The Essential Core of Corruption

By Hartmut Schweitzer


The starting point of the following essay is the observation that neither the application of the actual usually used definitions of corruption, especially not the widely publicized by Transparency International, nor the majority of the conventional analyses are suitable for explaining halfway consistently the emergence and / or the continuing existence of corruption. The examination of some of the current analytical approaches like the principal-agent approach, the exchange of goods and exchange media, human greed, the all-presence of corruption, the areas and the development of corruption, secretiveness, trust and mistrust prove that the actual analyses of corruption can only partially help to explain the development and continuous existence of corruption and the reason of this deficiency is the incapacity and faultiness of the definitions. In the second part of the text a new definition will be presented which will stress the inappropriate social preference of particularistic norms instead of the necessary universalistic norms and the >borderline moral-theorem< as an appropriate tool for explaining and analysing the change of social norms. In this way the emergence of corruption can be explained and similarly the different extent of it in time and space.