RUSI JournalVolume 158Issue 2members only

Corruption: A Global Common Evil


Slippery to define, corruption can permeate all levels of society and encompasses a variety of phenomena: it is a ‘social bad’ that lies at the heart of organised crime.

What is corruption and is it always harmful? These are the two key questions that Frank G Madsen assesses in his exploration of this public- and private-sector phenomenon. After surveying various academic and legal definitions, Madsen analyses corruption as a ‘social bad’, born of the inter-personal relationships within social groups, such as those involved in organised crime, and shaped by the structure and values of the society in which they operate. The article concludes

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