Power and Corruption Risk: A Brief History and a Long Future

Charles Sampford

Abstract


This article commences with definitions of corruption and integrity and relates them to each other and to power, its use and abuse. It then discusses how, as power evolves and grows, the opportunities for the abuse of that power to (i.e., corruption) grow too. Those opportunities deliver a history of corruption from ancient abuses of priestly, gubernatorial, and military power to modern state capture. The creation of power provides opportunities for abuse and the risk that those opportunities will be exploited in all countries, including Australia. Anti-corruption measures provide a form of insurance against that risk. The paper examines the development of anti-corruption measures from the execution of those caught out, to anti-corruption agencies, to national integrity systems, and to international collaboration to develop such systems. However, those who pursue power to abuse it for their own ends do not stand still. They collaborate in ‘national corruption systems’ and emerging global corruption systems. The paper argues that the remedy lies in the development of global integrity systems while strengthening our own integrity systems to build integrity and combat corruption at home and contribute to those goals abroad. The article concludes with a glossary of governance terms and relates them to integrity and corruption.


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References


REFERENCE LIST

A Articles/Books/Reports

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B Legislation/Treaties

Commonwealth of Australia Constitution Act 1900 (Cth)

C Other

Sampford, Charles, ‘Global transparency: Fighting corruption for a sustainable future: From National Integrity Systems to Global Integrity Systems’ (Conference Paper, 13 IACC, Athens, November 2008)

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