Ethics and Corruption: An Introduction to the Special Issue

Graeff, Peter (2016) Ethics and Corruption: An Introduction to the Special Issue German Law Journal, 17 (1). pp. 1-6.

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Corruption necessarily involves particularistic advantages at the expense of the society as a whole. It might be, however, misleading to assume these implications are a priori negative. The moral assessment of corrupt practices depends on contemporary ethical standards, which differ from country to country and undergo change over time. As a result, some practices labeled as corrupt might become legitimate while others turn from legitimate actions to offenses. When ethical dimensions are considered, corrupt practices reveal an inherent tension between particularistic and universalistic normative standards. Particularistic standards belong to the person-specific obligations and the expectations of actors involved in corruption. These necessarily clash with universalistic standards, which are valid and applicable for everyone and are usually approved by legal provisions or codes of conduct. As a result corrupt exchanges reveal both positive social features between corruption partners--such as mutual trust--and negative societal ramifications--such as disadvantages of non-involved actors. Corrupt partners behave fairly and honestly with respect to their partners but unfairly and dishonestly with respect to anyone else.

Document Type: Article
Research affiliation: Kiel University
Refereed: Yes
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2017 14:42
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2018 11:05

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