The Features Of Corruption Of Latin America

876 WordsNov 3, 20144 Pages
Corruption exists to some extent in all countries. But in Latin America, corruption seems an inextricable part of life. Some schools of thought, particularly those in the political science circle, view corruption as functional to the maintenance of a political system. Meaning, corruption may not be ideal, but it represents a way for people to access resources that would otherwise be unavailable to them. In sharp contrast, economists point to the many downfalls of corruption: a climate of fear and lack of trust in public institutions, a weakening of the democratic system, increased inequality and violence, diminished economic growth, and so on. This paper examines the features of corruption in Latin America and discusses their implications. To begin, it is useful to understand what precisely corruption entails. Many definitions exist, but a classic one is that of Joseph Nye, formulated in 1967: “Corruption is behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of private-regarding (personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or status gains; or violates rules against the exercise of certain types of private-regarding influence.” From this definition alone, we glimpse the problems associated with corruption. In any organization, institution or group, rules exist to guide and facilitate interactions. In an environment where rules can be circumvented, stakeholders have little incentive to act fairly or honestly. Indeed, this has been the
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