Pick of the day: Flipping the corruption myth

Corruption Perception Index

Corruption Perception Index

“This geographical division fits squarely with mainstream views, which see corruption as the scourge of the developing world (cue cliché images of dictators in Africa and bribery in India). But is this storyline accurate? […]

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. If we really want to understand how corruption drives poverty in developing countries, we need to start by looking at the institutions that control the global economy, such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organisation.”

Comment by Ares Kalandides: In my opinion there are several problems with the Corruption Perception Index which I can sum up here:

1) As the word says, it is a perception index, i.e. people say what they think is true, not what IS true. That means a) that it reproduces clichés without necessarily questioning them and b) that it risks becoming a self-fulfilling-prophecy: i.e. “if country A is corrupt, then I need to be corrupt in order to survive or do business in A, too”.

2) It concentrates on the very serious issue of corruption, but not on forms of “legal” corruption, e.g. lobbying. One could argue that the money that states loose through “legal” tax gifts to the rich is even more than illegal tax evasion.

3) All discussions about corruption, and the index is just one of them, concentrate on the receiving end, i.e. the local governments that get corrupted. So far so good. But corruption needs those who corrupt, too. Shouldn’t there be a map for them? That would ‘flip” the picture, as the article says.

(a detailed blog entry on the subject coming up)

read the whole story by Jason Hickel in the South African Main & Guardian Flipping the corruption myth | Thought Leader.

About Ares

Ares Kalandides holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Studies from the National Technical University of Athens. He is the founder and CEO of Inpolis, an international consultancy based in Berlin, Germany and has implement several projects around the world. Ares teaches Urban Economics at the Technical University in Berlin and Metropolitan Studies at NYU Berlin.
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One Response to Pick of the day: Flipping the corruption myth

  1. Angelo Menegatos says:

    Concerning Corruption Perception Index, I absolutely share Ares Kalantides comment.

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