Corruption is an illness deeply embedded in all societies which can`t be eradicated because it is connected to a human being. Namely, corruption is a result of human imperfection. But, regardless of that, this illness can be managed successfully under some conditions. Western countries with an old-fashioned democratic tradition (also, there are Scandinavian countries and some others) have strong institutional-legal frameworks that can able to predict and detect deviations in society. They continuously apply preventive and repressive mechanisms, needed for specific cases.
Opposite to the above-mentioned countries, developing states (the post-socialist or the transition countries are a part of them) have a common problem: weak state institutions which are led by political elites without any experience and the knowledge needed to rule in democratic circumstances. Many of these countries have political systems which are formally democratic because their political authorities are chosen in democratic process of election, but they don`t apply the main principle of democracy: to serve a nation, not to rule it.
According to that, we have to make difference between understanding the term "democracy" as a political system and "democracy" as a type of authority. And just this different understanding of democracy has very important consequences for a society because the society can be led by a good government or can be led toward kakistocracy.
The consequences of non-transparent ruling and disrespecting the rule of law are strengthening corruption from the level of petty corruption to corruption as a systematic issue and to some other types or derivatives of corruption: political clientelism and conflict of interest. In those circumstances, a political system is the main cause of systematic corruption. It becomes the style of life that influences rapid disintegration of society in a material sense. The principles of justice and fairness should be the basis of a society, but, when we are talking about systematic corruption, they become absolutely meaningless for political elites.
When it comes to understanding democracy as a political system, we should observe post-communist (or the transitional) countries that are going through a hard period in their political and economic transition toward democratization of their societies and building market economy. This transition consists of many traps in which some of these countries get caught.
Pages: 16-25 Published Online: Apr. 14, 2020
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