Corruption: Diagnosis and Treatment

Journal of Democracy, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 86-99, 2006

14 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2010

Date Written: July 2006


In recent years, anticorruption has become a major industry, with global expenditures growing to an estimated one hundred million dollars per year. To date, however, few successes have resulted from this investment. We clearly speak more about corruption than we used to and spend more money combating it, but there is little evidence that all this activity is accomplishing much. The handbook published by Transparency International (TI) cites as best practices the laws or institutions adopted in various countries, but their effects have yet to be measured. The World Bank’s Anticorruption in Transition also discusses ongoing programs rather than already demonstrated successes. Political corruption poses a serious threat to democracy and its consolidation. One year after the widely acclaimed Orange Revolution in Ukraine, one could already buy, though not very cheaply, a seat in the Ukrainian parliament. The lack of success in curbing corruption, combined with ever more widespread discussion of the issue, renders voters extremely cynical and threatens to subvert public trust in emerging democracies.

Keywords: corruption, transition, particularism

Suggested Citation

Mungiu-Pippidi, Alina, Corruption: Diagnosis and Treatment (July 2006). Journal of Democracy, Vol. 17, No. 3, pp. 86-99, 2006, Available at SSRN:

Alina Mungiu-Pippidi (Contact Author)

Hertie School of Governance ( email )

Friedrichstrasse 180, Q110
Berlin, 10117

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