Corruption Essay

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Fighting corruption: Effective examples from surprising places By Gent Salihu on November 26, 2012in Comparative Government, Deepening Democracy, European Politics and Society, Fragile and Post Conflict States, The EU and European Politics President Atifete Jahjaga of Kosovo Source: Flickr What could Hong Kong, Liberia, and Kosovo teach us? Perhaps, rather unexpectedly, about successful ways of dealing with public corruption. Corruption is effectively a hidden tax on living and doing business in many emerging democracies and, as a result, is one of the most serious obstacles to deepening democracy and economic development. It is particularly dangerous when corruption turns into a culturally accepted practice. In the Deepening Democracy report, Kofi Annan points out that corruption contributes to “rotting the entire political system slowly from within.” Countries may face specific problems, but they can also learn from each other’s solutions. Dealing with corruption requires effective institutions and, most importantly, credible leaders. While widespread corruption is generally a problem developing countries face, the approaches that these countries take to combat corruption could also be helpful to Western democracies both for problems they face at home and in their attempts to assist developing nations. Hong Kong is considered to have built one of the most successful institutions to combat public corruption. A USAID anti-corruption publication considers Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption an iconic and historical example, “perhaps the most successful example of an anti-corruption agency,” as it has proven capable of launching large-sale investigations and solving high-profile cases of corruption. The key to its success was that, rather than restricting its activities to law enforcement, Hong Kong’s ICAC also worked on changing public

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