Individual nation articles should be consulted on specific national responses to corruption.

In general, corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal activity undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, often to acquire illicit benefit. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement, though it may also involve practices that are legal in many countries.[1] Political corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for personal gain. Corruption is most commonplace in kleptocracies, oligarchies, narco-states and mafia states.[citation needed]

Corruption can occur on different scales. Corruption ranges from small favors between a small number of people (petty corruption),[2] to corruption that affects the government on a large scale (grand corruption), and corruption that is so prevalent that it is part of the everyday structure of society, including corruption as one of the symptoms of organized crime. Corruption and crime are endemic sociological occurrences which appear with regular frequency in virtually all countries on a global scale in varying degree and proportion. Individual nations each allocate domestic resources for the control and regulation of corruption and crime. Strategies to counter corruption are often summarized under the umbrella term anti-corruption.

Scales of corruption

A billboard in Zambia exhorting the public to "Just say no to corruption".
An anti-corruption billboard at the entry into Niamey, capital of Niger. The text, translated from French, reads: "Together, let's fight against corruption at the borders", and "With my identity card or my passport plus my vaccinaton certificate, I can travel in all tranquillity within the realm of ECOWAS".

Stephen D. Morris,[3] a professor of politics, writes that political corruption is the illegitimate use of public power to benefit a private interest. Economist Ian Senior[4] defines corruption as an action to (a) secretly provide (b) a good or a service to a third party (c) so that he or she can influence certain actions which (d) benefit the corrupt, a third party, or both (e) in which the corrupt agent has authority. Daniel Kaufmann,[5] from the World Bank, extends the concept to include 'legal corruption' in which power is abused within the confines of the law—as those with power often have the ability to make laws for their protection. The effect of corruption in infrastructure is to increase costs and construction time, lower the quality and decrease the benefit.[6]

The research work on social corruption developed at The Unicist Research Institute defines that corruption allows individuals to profit from the environment through illegitimate actions while they disintegrate the system they are part of.[7]

Corruption can occur on different scales. Corruption ranges from small favors between a small number of people (petty corruption),[8] to corruption that affects the government on a large scale (grand corruption), and corruption that is so prevalent that it is part of the everyday structure of society, including corruption as one of the symptoms of organized crime.

A number of indicators and tools have been developed which can measure different forms of corruption with increasing accuracy.[9]

Petty corruption

Petty corruption occurs at a smaller scale and takes place at the implementation end of public services when public officials meet the public. For example, in many small places such as registration offices, police stations, state licensing boards,[10][11] and many other private and government sectors.

Grand corruption

Grand corruption is defined as corruption occurring at the highest levels of government in a way that requires significant subversion of the political, legal and economic systems. Such corruption is commonly found in countries with authoritarian or dictatorial governments but also in those without adequate policing of corruption.[12]

The government system in many countries is divided into the legislative, executive and judiciary branches in an attempt to provide independent services that are less subject to grand corruption due to their independence from one another.[13]

Systemic corruption

Systemic corruption (or endemic corruption)[14] is corruption which is primarily due to the weaknesses of an organization or process. It can be contrasted with individual officials or agents who act corruptly within the system.

Factors which encourage systemic corruption include conflicting incentives, discretionary powers; monopolistic powers; lack of transparency; low pay; and a culture of impunity.[15] Specific acts of corruption include "bribery, extortion, and embezzlement" in a system where "corruption becomes the rule rather than the exception."[16] Scholars distinguish between centralized and decentralized systemic corruption, depending on which level of state or government corruption takes place; in countries such as the Post-Soviet states both types occur.[17] Some scholars argue that there is a negative duty[clarification needed] of western governments to protect against systematic corruption of underdeveloped governments.[18][19]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Korrupsie
Alemannisch: Korruption
العربية: فساد
azərbaycanca: Korrupsiya
বাংলা: দুর্নীতি
беларуская: Карупцыя
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Карупцыя
български: Корупция
bosanski: Korupcija
català: Corrupció
čeština: Korupce
Cymraeg: Llygredigaeth
dansk: Korruption
Deutsch: Korruption
Ελληνικά: Διαφθορά
Esperanto: Korupto
فارسی: فساد
français: Corruption
Frysk: Korrupsje
ગુજરાતી: ભ્રષ્ટાચાર
한국어: 부정부패
hrvatski: Korupcija
Bahasa Indonesia: Korupsi
íslenska: Spilling
italiano: Corruzione
עברית: שחיתות
ქართული: კორუფცია
қазақша: Жемқорлық
Kreyòl ayisyen: Koripsyon
Кыргызча: Пара алуу
Latina: Corruptio
latviešu: Korupcija
lietuvių: Korupcija
Limburgs: Corruptie
magyar: Korrupció
македонски: Корупција
Malagasy: Kolikoly
മലയാളം: അഴിമതി
Bahasa Melayu: Korupsi
Nederlands: Corruptie
नेपाली: भ्रष्टाचार
日本語: 汚職
norsk: Korrupsjon
norsk nynorsk: Korrupsjon
occitan: Corrupcion
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Korrupsiya
ភាសាខ្មែរ: ទំព័រគំរូ:Corruption
polski: Korupcja
português: Corrupção
română: Corupție
русский: Коррупция
संस्कृतम्: भ्रष्टाचारः
Scots: Corruption
Simple English: Corruption
سنڌي: ڪرپشن
slovenčina: Korupcia
slovenščina: Korupcija
Soomaaliga: Musuqmaasaq
српски / srpski: Корупција
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Korupcija
Basa Sunda: Basilat
suomi: Korruptio
svenska: Korruption
Tagalog: Korupsiyon
தமிழ்: ஊழல்
татарча/tatarça: Коррупция
తెలుగు: లంచం
тоҷикӣ: Фасод
Türkçe: Yolsuzluk
українська: Корупція
Tiếng Việt: Tham nhũng
Winaray: Kurapsyon
吴语: 贪污
粵語: 貪污
中文: 贪污