ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Intriguing Issues in the Corruption Discourse and Challenges of Governance

Discourses on Corruption: Interdisciplinary and Intercultural Perspectives edited by Kalpana Kannabiran, Bettina Hollstein and Florian Hoffmann, New Delhi: Sage Spectrum Publications, 2022; pp xi + 289, `795.

Corruption issues are dominating public discourse at least since the earlier part of the last decade. Yet the theorisation of the issue, public policy implications and political usage, especially in the era of post-truth, is hitherto studied inadequately. If one reason is the vastness of the issue that ranges from petty bribery to large multinational scams, the other surely is theoretical and methodological in nature. When broadly defined, corruption is commonly seen as the abuse of public power for private gains. It happens to be one of the most intriguing issues across the world, whether in mature or emerging democracies or hybrid autocratic regimes. Likewise, corruption and anti-corruption movements form much of what is known as public opinion in the recent past in countries like India and Brazil.

It is seen that corruption issues are quite widespread; consequently, anti-corruption is firmly intertwined with the global drive for good governance. The presence of corruption is often equated with a failure of public administration. While, broadly, the concept of abuse of public power is adopted by organisations such as Transparency International to define corruption and its perceptions, often the conceptual and contextual paradoxes are ignored. Such a definition primarily demands a contextual specificity because comprehending what is meant by public power and what are its abuses is not only case-specific but also at times confusing. At the field level, a descriptive definition is needed.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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