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Provides the first book-length treatment of political corruption as an object of public ethics
Shows the common root of individual and institutional manifestations of political corruption
Reinterprets anticorruption beyond standard legalistic retributive approaches, as it calls on officeholders to take responsibility for opposing political corruption as a component of a public ethics of office accountability
From the spread of kleptocracy in Venezuela at the expense of the country´s economy, to President Trump´s appointment of family members to high-ranking White House positions, to President Lukashenko´s desperate stranglehold on power in Belarus, across the world political corruption is rampant-indeed practically too ubiquitous to keep track of. As these examples illustrate, political corruption is often associated to a variety of instances of abuse of power that either derive from a vicious trait of individual character, or develop within deeply dysfunctional institutions. To Emanuela Ceva and Maria Paola Ferretti, however, this piecemeal view is inadequate: individual and institutional instances of political corruption have a common root that we can understand only by treating corruption and anticorruption as a matter of a public ethics of office. Political corruption is the Trojan horse that undermines public institutions from within via an interrelated action of officeholders. Even well-designed and legitimate institutions can veer off track if the officeholders fail through their conduct to uphold a public ethics of office accountability.
This book offers an analytically rigorous definition of political corruption. It also investigates the common normative root of its two manifestations-corrupt individual character, and corrupt institutional mechanisms-as a relationally wrongful practice that consists of an unaccountable use of the power of office by officeholders in public institutions. From this perspective, political corruption must be understood from within, for it is an internal enemy of public institutions that can only be opposed by mobilizing the officeholders to remain accountable and mutually answerable for their conduct. In this way, anticorruption calls on the officeholders´ responsibility to work together to maintain an interactively just institutional system.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: What Political Corruption is
Chapter 2: Political Corruption: Individual or Institutional?
Chapter 3: How is Political Corruption Wrong?
Chapter 4: Responsibility for Political Corruption
Chapter 5: Opposing Political Corruption