The degree and level of accountability is also a factor that leads to variability in the levels of political corruption. Accountability refers to the obligation of an individual or an organization to account for its actions and activities, accept responsibility for them and to disclose the results in an open and transparent manner (Political Corruption Law & Legal definition). The level to which government official are held accountable for their action will determine if they will be corrupt or not. Countries which hold their government officials accountable for their action and demand that they carry out their activities in a transparent manner faces low levels of political corruption. On the other hand countries that do not hold their government officials accountable or demand for transparency in their dealing faces a lot of political corruption.
The fourth factor is the level of minimum wages in a country. Low wages and little incentives encourage corruption as one seeks to better his or her life through corrupt dealings. This can also be illustrated using the case of developed countries which normally have higher minimum wages as compared to the developing countries. The level of political corruption in developed countries is significantly lower compared to the developing countries which show high levels of corruption.
The actions of the top most government officials will also determine the level of political corruption in a country. If for example the president of a country is known to be dealing in corrupt activities, the level of corruption is likely to be very high in that country. Other political leaders will also engage in corrupt activities as they know they are protected by the top most authority. Countries whose presidents are known to be at the fore front on the war against corruption will experience low levels of political corruption. As such leaders set a good example for the rest of the government officials (Ackerman).
Tribalism and nepotism will determine the levels of political corruption. A tribal leader believes in collecting funds and resources for the benefit of members of his community and close family members. Nations that elect tribal leaders to power will most likely suffer from higher levels of political corruption compared to the other nations.
Transparency and openness in dealings concerning the use of public funds will determine the level of political corruption a country will experience. Countries that require openness and transparency will face low levels of political corruption. An example is the countries that push for public vetting of government officials. The chance of selecting a tribal, unqualified or a person with corruption record to office is close to none. This system of selection enables the selection of fair and qualified people who want the good of the whole nation. Political corruption in these countries will hence be significantly low compared to those countries that dont practice openness and transparency (Political Corruption Law & Legal definition).
Level of democratization is another factor. The level of corruption corresponds negatively with democratization. The level of political corruption theirfor will vary inversely to the degree to which the power is consensual (Friedrich, 1993). This means the more power is obtained legitimately the lower the level of corruption. This means that countries that are allowed to democratically vote for their leaders will experience a low number of political corruption. On the other hand countries that countries that are ruled by dictatorship will experience a higher rate of political corruption.
Decentralization of power also plays a role in the degree of political corruption of a country. Centralized governments are those that carry out all of their operations together from a centralized point. Decentralized government includes the division of the nation into smaller manageable sizes and each division has a set of leaders that oversees the operations of that said region. Decentralization can also include the separation of functions of government. Example includes the separation of function to legislature, judiciary and the executive. Countries that have decentaralized systems face lower levels of corruption compared to those with the centralized system. The separation of power creates mechanisms to police and punish government officials that misbehave thus reducing the level of corruption in that country (Ackerman).
The incentives provided to politicians to fight incentives. Incentives may be in a number of forms including reward, recognition or monetary incentives. Politicians will be motivated to fight and avoid corruption activities based on the incentives that are being offered. Countries that use incentives as a method of curbing political corruption are more likely to have low cases of corrupt government officials. On the other hand countries that offer no incentives face a higher level of political corruption. Curbing or reducing the level of political corruption in such countries is also difficult ( Frankler and Lin).
Freedom of the press also influences the degree of political corruption in a country. A country where the press is free will have low levels of corruption. Government officials will avoid engaging in corrupt deals due to the fear of being exposed to the public by the press. On the other hand countries where there is no freedom of the press will record high levels of political corruption since the government officials can control what is aired by the media. They can theirfore avoid information about their corrupt activities from being exposed to the public. This only works to encourage government officials to engage in corrupt activities without fear or care.
Education levels of the nationals of a country. Countrys that have a high literacy level are likely to experience low levels of political corruption. This is because the citizens are educated and are able to identify illegal activities. They are able to read understand and interparate the law and can easily identify unlawful activities. Countrys with low literacy levels however are more likely to be faced with political corruption. It will be difficult for these citizens to identify an unlawful activity as they are not even able to read and clearly interprate the law. Government officials in such countries will theirfor take advantage of such situations and engage in corrupt activities.
Finally, the economic freedom of a country can also be stated as a factor that affects the level of political corruption. Economic freedom refers to the freeness to trade in a country. It may entail the opening up of a countries border to traders from other countries. Economic freedom can act as a tool to minimize the level of political corruption in a county. This is because the country is now subject to evaluation by traders fro other economies. Governments that open up their borders are normally carefully to reduce the level of political corruption in the country. This is in a bid to maintain or attract new investors to the country. This means that countries that have economic freedom will have lower levels of political corruption compared to those without the economic freedom.
In conclusion the degree of political corruption will vary from country to country depending on the various factors discussed above. This means that there can be no uniform level of political corruption worldwide.
Ackerman, Rose. Causes, Consequences and Reform. Corruption and Government (New York) 1999: n. pag. Web. 22 Apr. 2015.
Frackler, T., and T. Lin. political corruption and presidential elections. Journal of politics (1995): n. pag. Print.
Political Corruption Law & Legal Definition. Legal definitions Legal Terms Dictionary. N.p., web. 22 Apr. 2015
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