Do radical anticorruption measures such as lustration reduce corruption by systematically limiting the political participation of former authoritarian actors? While research has largely overlooked the role of transitional justice in addressing corruption, some scholars claim that lustration may increase corruption by reducing bureaucratic expertise. Analyzing original panel data from 30 post-communist states from 1996 to 2011, we find that lustration is effective in lowering corruption. Lustration disrupts the political, economic, and administrative malpractice of the preceding regimes by limiting opportunities for corruption of former communist elites. To illuminate the causal mechanism, we examine the cases of Estonia, which has adopted lustration and lowered corruption; Georgia, which has reduced corruption since first considering lustration; and Russia, which has not adopted lustration and maintains high levels of corruption. This study breaks new ground with a novel system-level explanation and an integrative approach to causation for the entire post-communist world.
The article analyzes the influence of motivation of public officials on their corrupt behavior. In the framework of normative-value conceptualization corruption is considered as anti-social, autodestructive deviant behavior. The represented two-dimensional curve of motivation consists of two segments. The first, “thirst for recognition” segment consists of pro-social, positive and altruistic motives, and the second, “greed” segment consists of negative and selfish motives. This article shows that motivation, especially with external locus of control has a decisive influence on corrupt behavior as means of the goals achievement. Particularly, it directly allows public officials to use “aim justifies the means” principle, or indirectly predetermine the very aim of their actions.
The paper is devoted to instrumental conceptualization of corruption, including classification of its forms and definition of the institutional mechanism. It proposes an analysis of conceptual approaches to corruption and demonstrates that the major aspects of normative approach are as follows: value judgment of corruption as an unambiguously negative phenomenon; associating corruption with contempt of the law or violation of moral and ethical standards; consideration of corruption as a deviant behavior. The author emphasizes challenging issues and ambiguity of this approach. The rationalist approach to corruption, including the economic approach, does not address value judgments or various norms and standards, but describes it in terms of functional assessment of its symptoms and consequences. The paper counters the claim that corruption fulfils some positive functions such as the function of deregulation and overcoming bureaucratic barriers. The paper reveals a generalized mechanism of corruption: exceeding authority and violating the official powers and duties regulations, including code of conduct and ethical standards, and (or) social behavioral, moral, and ethical norms, an official of an administrative organization illegitimately distributes and uses resources of the organization to gain personal or group benefits, not to implement the functions and objectives of the organization. The author proposes a new definition of the term “political corruption” and describes an hierarchy system of types of political and economic corruption, where the “state capture” is at the top. The author also determinates the institutional mechanism of corruption in the sphere of public power, the essence of which lies in the various types of abuse of its resources. While conceptualizing corruption in public policy in an instrumental way, it is defined as an abuse, misuse of public power resources by a public official not for implementing functions of the state or providing social progress, but for obtaining undue preferences or deriving tangible or intangible personal or group benefits, including gaining advantages in favor of third parties.