General resources on political corruption

Political corruption: An introduction to the issues. Amundsen, I., 1999. CMI Working Paper WP1999:7.  

While corruption is generally defined as the misuse of public authority, political corruption is here defined as corruption in which the political decision-makers are involved. In addition to a review of the various definitions of corruption and a classification of the various forms of corruption (bribery, embezzlement, fraud and extortion), this paper presents two alternative theories on corruption ("extractive" and "redistributive") in order to illustrate the effects of corruption in various regime types. Furthermore, the paper presents some causes and effects of corruption, in particular in economic and political terms. Finally, various sources of anti-corruption initiatives and endowment are discussed (even when the effect of democratisation in curtailing corruption is not too strong according to the possible source of corruption).  

Political Corruption: Problems and Perspectives. Heywood, P., 1997. Political studies, 45(3), 417-435. Download pdf  

This paper offers an in-depth look at the cultural and historical contexts that have caused political corruption to be addressed as a problem that needs tackling. The author then explores the causes of political corruption and offers and theoretical review of the consequences of political corruption.  

Defining political corruption. Philp, M.,1997. Political Studies, 45(3), 436-462.  

This paper looks at the concept of political corruption and deconstructs it in order to explore the extent which a political action can be considered corrupt. Departing from a case study from New South Wales, the author looks at the history of corruption as concept for political analysis and explores the intricacies of defining an action as corrupt. He concludes that political corruption is not a straightforward concept and depends on the context in which it is being analysed. The paper also identifies some of the problems of studying political corruption.


Francesco Bosso, Maíra Martini, Iñaki Albisu Ardigó


Marie Chêne, Robin Hodess, Ph.D



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