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Misunderstanding corruption and community: comparative cultural politics of corruption regulation in the Pacific

By M. Findlay


This paper will take as its empirical foundation the author’s experience of corruption and regulation in small Pacific island states. The argument is that notions of corruption and strategies for its regulation suitable for modernized societies, which lack cultural specificity and community engagement, may in fact stimulate corruption relationships in transitional cultures. The other consequence of the imposition of inappropriate definitions and regulation strategies is a profound misunderstanding of communities of dependence. In fact, corruption control can misconstrue and exacerbate economic and political dependence environments, fostering the conditions for corruption which accompany socio-economic development. Two remedies are suggested. First, corruption requires an appreciation which is ‘community-centered’, while at the same time not being neutralized by disconnected cultural relativity. Second, an enterprise theory of corruption in modernized societies and international political/commercial entities may assist in the relevant translation of global anti-corruption policies in a way which advances good governance in traditional communities. This is so when corruption is conceived as dependant on phases of modernization, and the tensions which arise when the interests of societies at different phases intersect. Corporate citizenship and compliance with anti-corrupt business practices by major corporations with a commercial interest in these transitional economies may be more beneficial than deference to uniform international codes of governance. \u

Publisher: Springer
Year: 2007
OAI identifier:

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