Corruption (from Lat. Corrumpere «defile») a term denoting usually use their official powers and rights entrusted power for private gain, contrary to the laws and moral precepts

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"We know already from the experience of centuries, that every person with authority tend to abuse it, and it goes in that direction until it reaches the limit laid him"



Corruption (from Lat. Corrumpere - «defile») - a term denoting usually use their official powers and rights entrusted power for private gain, contrary to the laws and moral precepts. Most often the term applies to the bureaucracy and political elite.

Under Russian law, «corruption - the abuse of office, bribery, receiving bribes, abuse of power, commercial bribery or other illegal use by an individual of his official position against the legitimate interests of society and the state in order to benefit in the form of money, valuables or other property or services of material nature, other property rights to themselves or to third parties or illegal provision of such benefits specified person other individuals, as well as the commission of such acts on behalf of or for the benefit of a legal entity»1. Characteristic sign of corruption is the conflict between the actions of the official and the interests of his employer or the conflict between the actions of elected persons and the public interest. Many types of corruption are similar to the fraud perpetrated by an official, and are classified as crimes against the state and society.

Corruption may be subject to any person with authority over the allocation of any resources not owned by it in its sole discretion (the official, a deputy judge, a law enforcement officer, administrator, examiner, physician, etc.). The main incentive for corruption is the ability to obtain economic profits (rents) associated with the use of power, and the major underlying factor - the risk of exposure and punishment. According to the macroeconomic and political economy studies, corruption is the biggest obstacle to economic growth and development that can jeopardize any conversion.

In modern scientific economic and legal literature, there are many different definitions of corruption. If we try to generalize a bit the definition of corruption, then corruption can be reduced to the following definition – «the criminal activity in the sphere of politics or public administration, consisting in the use of officials entrusted to them the rights and power opportunities for personal enrichment. Corruption is not a separate crime, but the generic term covering a number of official crimes (such as bribery, abuse of authority) ».2

The history of the concept.

For the first time the civilized world was confronted with the phenomenon of corruption in the most ancient times. For example, one of the earliest mentions of corruption occurs even in cuneiforms of ancient Babylon. As follows from the transcribed texts relating to the mid third millennium BC, was already in front of the Sumerian king Urukaginom very acute problem was combating abuse of judges and officials, extort illegal fees.

Similar issues have faced and the right ¬ sentatives of ancient Egypt. Documents found in the pro ¬ process of archaeological research, and evidence of massive corruption in Jerusalem in the period after the Babylonian captivity of the Jews in 597 - 538 years BC. Issue of corruption is found in biblical texts.

Has not escaped the manifestations and flourishing corruption and ancient times. It’s devastating impact was one of the reasons for the collapse of the Roman Empire.

Later periods of Western history is also accompanied by the development of corrupt relationships. In this case, their presence in the lives and affairs of society was reflected not only in historical documents, but in many works of art by such masters as Shakespeare («The Merchant of Venice», «Eye for an Eye»), Dante («Hell» and «Purgatory» ). So, seven centuries ago Dante placed corruption at the darkest and deepest circles of Hell. Story explains his distaste for corruption by political considerations of the author, as Dante believed bribery caused the fall of the Italian Republic and the success of their political opponents.

Many famous Western thinkers have paid the investigation of corruption a lot of attention. It seems that quite comprehensively, and in this sense, researched its origins Niccolo Machiavelli. Characteristically, many of his views on this issue is very relevant today. Suffice it to recall its figurative comparison of corruption with tuberculosis, which is initially hard to recognize, but it is easier to treat, and if it is running, «although it is easy to recognize but difficult to cure».3 Seemingly simple truth, but as it is modern to assess the current situation with the spread of corruption in Russia and worldwide. In Russia, for the first time to punish bribery was Ivan III, the punishment was the death penalty.

At Peter I for bribes was hanged Siberian governor Matthew Gagarin, quartered chief spy Nesterov. His fame and bribery, Alexander Menshikov, who three times coming under Investigation on charges of «arbitrary in dealing with official interest». Under Nicholas I hushed up corruption, but a provincial Russian bribery of those times immortalized by Gogol and Saltykov-Shchedrin. On the eve of the revolution of the seventeenth year of corruption has become a symbol of Rasputin. Holy man took bribes for patronage in appointments and the allocation of defense contracts. It is known that it is engaged in a pair of ballerina Mathilde Kshessinska and Grand Duke Alexei Mikhailovich. Bolsheviks are following the example of Peter I did not hesitate in the media in combating corruption, bribes and could be shot, but the evil was indestructible. Heyday of the Soviet bribery fell on the Brezhnev era.


Corruption can be classified by many criteria:

The types of interacting agents:

a) сitizens;

b) the company;

c) officials;

d) a nation and political leadership.

The type of benefits:

a) profit;

b) the reduction of costs.

Focus on:

a) the interior;

b) External).

Types of corruption:

Consumer corruption generated by the interaction of ordinary citizens and officials. It includes a variety of gifts from individuals and service officer and his family. This category also includes nepotism.

Business corruption occurs in the interaction between business and government. For example, in the case of commercial disputes, parties may seek to enlist the support of the judges in order to make decisions in their favor.

Corruption is the supreme power belongs to the political leadership and the supreme courts in democratic systems. It concerns of those in power groups, unscrupulous behavior is to implement the policy in their interests to the detriment of the interests of voters.

Consequences of corruption.

Empirical data show that corruption is4:

• Inefficient allocation and expenditure of public funds and resources;

• inefficiency of corruption of financial flows from the standpoint of the economy;

• Loss of tax when the tax authorities shall assign a portion of the taxes;

• Loss of time due to obstacles placed by, reducing the effectiveness of the state apparatus as a whole;

• destruction of private entrepreneurs;

• reduction of investment in manufacturing, the slowdown in economic growth;

• lowering the quality of public service;

• misuse of international aid to developing countries, which drastically reduces its effectiveness;

• inefficient use of abilities of individuals: instead of producing material goods people spend time on unproductive rent-seeking;

• increasing social inequality;

• strengthening of organized crime - gangs become a mafia;

• damage to the political legitimacy of power;

• reduction of public morality.

Implications for Russia:

Today, Russia has acquired an image stand kleptocratic and deeply corrupt state, not only domestically but also abroad. There is a kind of corruption of power rating, in which Russia is a very unenviable position in the top ten most deprived countries in the company of Venezuela, Cameroon and some other countries with which respectable politicians and business partners without having advised not to deal.

In this case, one of the most negative features of a modern development of corruption in Russia is that it has now become less perceived and condemned by society, which greatly contributed to gaps in the legal education of the population, as well as efforts by some politicians and senior officials to legitimize the relevant relationships as an integral element of public service. Unfortunately, can not reverse this trend and the press, television. Acuteness of perception of materials on corruption in the society has become increasingly discredited, and the impact force in creating a climate of intolerance towards corruption as a social phenomenon by the day weaker. Emerged a kind of syndrome of addiction to it, which became so significant that a large part of society is not too annoying, not only of individual venality of government officials, but even that, on suspicion of involvement in corrupt relationships in question posed a reputation of almost all of the political elite of Russia.

1 Federal Act on December 25, 2008 N 273-FZ "On Combating Corruption"

2 Big Law Dictionary, Ed. AY Sukharev, VD Zorkin, VE Krutskikh. - Moscow: INFRA-M, 1997. - P. 320.

3 Machiavelli N. Works / / Moscow. 1994. P. 137

4 Rose-Ackerman, S. Corruption and the State. Causes, consequences, reform / Susan Rose-Ackerman, trans. from English. OA Alyakrinskii. - M.: Logos, 2003. - P. 31

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