7.2.5 Corrupt Practices

Corrupt practices are defined here as using inducements to persuade someone to do, or not to do, their duty; they inhibit good governance.

Despite it being mostly illegal, it is present in varying degrees everywhere in the world.  It is classified as self-protection because the decision to pay a bribe to an official, for example, is a decision to use one’s own resources (money) rather than to call for the rules to be enforced.  The person who pays a bribe and the person accepting it are both participants in the same corruption, and both are operating outside the law.  It increases the cost of living and doing business, benefits some at the expense of others, and undermines governance.

Corrupt practices are very common.  Transparency International measures the perceived levels of public-sector corruption in 180 countries, publishing a Corruption Perceptions Index each year.  Its complete elimination, requiring both education and the strengthening of institutions, would take several generations.

The importance of reducing corruption, and available countermeasures against it, are further explored in the following sub-sections:

●  Those who engage in corruption undermine the efficient working of governance (  It can affect economic, religious, legal, and political power.

●  Countermeasures against some types of corruption can be incorporated by design in each of the four dimensions of governance (



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This page is intended to form part of Edition 4 of the Patterns of Power series of books.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition04/725.htm.