Role Of Media Against Corruption Essay
Admittedly, the central theme of this special issue – ‘a turn to theory’ – might seem naïve: What is critique, or research for that matter, without theory? First, corruption is an emotionally and ideologically vested concept, and corruption research is often characterized and/or motivated by normative descriptions and analyses of corruption.Such research tends to empirically single out corrupt practices as opposed to legitimate or non-corrupt but still illegal practices.By theory-based critique, we mean efforts to go beyond particular normative standpoints regarding acceptable behaviour, as well as arguments rooted in a legal-positivist stance which restricts corruption to what can be defined in the courtrooms.Rather, we are searching for novel or forgotten theories, or combinations of these, that can further understanding of corruption.
Hitherto, however, much of this research – which either explicitly has been labelled ‘critical’ or by their very character falls into what we would like to call ‘critical studies of corruption’ – has remained scattered through various disciplinary traditions and empirical studies.
In the next section we will briefly elaborate on the necessity of a turn to theory in corruption studies.
Following this, we bring together some critical studies on corruption, and through this collection, sketch out a framework for a critical approach to corruption research. Our insistence on a focus on theory has three pillars.
While we will not attempt to summarize these discussions here, in economic terms, for instance, corruption is usually depicted as opportunistic behaviour based on rational choice and agency theory, and thus on the individual’s motivations for engaging in corrupt behaviour (Rose-Ackerman and Søreide, 2011).
In political science, by comparison, corruption has often been regarded as the result of dysfunctional overlaps between the private and public sector; the task is to decipher the organizational and institutional structures that give rise to corrupt behaviour (Heidenheimer et al., 1989; Johnston, 2005; Lambsdorff, 2007).