The Political Economy of Corruption in Korea: Corruption Kills People, Ruins the Economy, Violates Human Rights – Global Research


28-12-20 02:01:00,

The whole world is facing the deepening and widening corruption which challenges the very survival of the free democracy and the free market economy. 

Korea has been suffering for last 70 years from the corruption culture. But owing to courageous fight of Korean people and the Candle-Light Revolution of 2016-2017, Korea is freeing painfully but steadily from the dark clouds of the corruption culture.

I hope that Korea’s experience will help developing countries for assuring the development of their economy without becoming the slave of corruption.

The literature on corruption is rich but it has two shortcomings. First, it is based on a definition of corruption which is too narrow to deal with the complexity of corruption. Second, it does not cover sufficiently the range of the impact of corruption on the society.

Most of the existing studies tend to define corruption as illegal activities which are designed to maximize personal gains at the expense of those of others. But, it must be pointed out that some of the laws and regulations are designed to justify corruption.

Therefore, I would define corruption as “illegal or immoral human activities designed to maximize personal or group gains at the expense of the welfare of other persons or other groups”

The objective of this paper is to find, on the basis of Korea’s experience, appropriate measures that would facilitate the fight against corruption.

This paper has five sections.

Section 1 offers a typology of corruption based on the Korean experience of corruption. I have found that the useful way of classifying corruption is to relate it to the behaviour of individuals and organizations involved in corruption.

Section 2 deals with the evolution stage of corruption. I argue that the phenomenon of corruption evolves by stage. The level, the contents and the impact of corruption vary by stage. Therefore, to find appropriate measure of anti-corruption, it is important to know at what stage the process of corruption finds itself.

Section 3 discusses the strategy of protecting the benefits of corruption. It will be shown that, in Korea, the strategy of protecting the fruit of corruption is brutal and sophisticated.

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