There are too many definitions of corruption. Perhaps the shortest (and precise) definition is: «the abuse of public power for private profit» (Joseph Senturid). The UNO offers as analogous definition (Resolution 34/169 of the General Assembly UNO, 12.17.1979).
There are too many forms (manifestations) of corruption: bribery, favoritism, nepotism, protectionism, lobbying, illegal distribution and redistribution of public resources and funds, theft of treasury, illegal privatization, illegal ability to finance of political structures, extortion, allowance of favorable credit (contracts), buying of votes, the famous Russian «blat» (different services for relatives, friends, acquaintances) (Ledeneva, 1998), etc.
Corruption is a complicated social phenomenon. It is an element of relations of economic exchange (brokers). It is a type (manifestation) of venality at the same kind as marriage swindlers and prostitution (the venality of spirit or body), and it exists in societies of commodity and pecuniary circulation.
Corruption is a social construction (Berger, Luckmann, 1967). Society determines (constructs): what, where, when, and by which conditions some action is labeled as «corruption», «crime», «prostitution» and so on.
Corruption is a social institution (Timofeev, 2000). It is a constituent element of of the system of management and government. Corruption is a social institution for the following reasons:
• Corruption carries out some social functions: simplifying of administrative relations; acceleration of administrative decisions; consolidation and restructuring of relations between the social classes or strata; aiding economic development by decreasing government regulation; trigger optimization of the economy when there is a deficit of resources; etc. (Leffi 1964; Scott, 1972; and other).
• Process of corruption involves the action of certain persons: the bribe-taker, briber (suborner), and mediator (go-between). There are relations of «patron – client» between them. They play certain social parts.
• There are certain rules (norms) of play, and the partners know these rules.
• Certain slangs and symbols exist (for example, to express a bribe in Russia, you rub three fingers: the thumb, middle finger and forefinger).
• There are certain fixed prices (tariff). Some of these fixed prices in Russia were published in the Russian press.
There is corruption in all countries. It is a worldwide problem. But the dimensions of corruption are diverse. Corruption, common in Russia, has taken on a grand scale in all the organs of power and official establishments. The damage from corruption is about $ 20-25 billion per year. The export of capital from Russia abroad amounts to $ 15-25 billion per year. Every day, the Russian and foreign Mass Media reveal facts of Russian corruption and corrupt activities. Corruption in contemporary Russia is an element of the political system, and a mechanism of the political regime. There are large corruption networks, including ministries, the police, the FSB (former KGB), and so on (Satarov, 2002; Sungurov, 2000).
Russia has various typologies of corruption, namely, «white», «grey», and «black» corruption (Heidenheimer, Johnston, Le Vine, 1989). Russian corruption is becoming more and more common, because the tolerance of corruption is growing by leaps and bounds.
Corruption, including taking of bribes, is a very latent phenomenon. And official, registered data (see table 7) most probably shows police action than depict reality.
Table 7.Bribery in Russia (1987-2001)
Source: Crime and Delinquency. Statistical Review. Annual. Moscow: MVD RF, MJ RF.
с бесплатной доставкой из США