The Corruption Marriage, Till Death Do Us Part

Corruption as a white-collar crime can take various forms. Two of the most common types are petty corruption and structural corruption.

Petty corruption is basically a single short corrupt exchange in exchange for a service or a favor (e.g., paying a small bribe to speed up administrative paperwork).

Structural corruption is a medium to long-term relationship between corrupt participants ( generally, an organization* and a public official), who plan corrupt exchanges with a high frequency as well as high intensity.
*Organizations are all types of entities that use both formal and informal structures to attain their long-term goals (companies, MNCs, sports clubs, criminal organizations, banks, or civil service departments)

Prof. Dr. Graf Lambsdorff, once described structural corruption as: “Corruption is not a one-night-stand, it is a marriage.”

Looking at it from this allegorical angle, we can think of petty corruption as a fast, short, and only one time corrupt exchange, the equivalent of a “one-night-stand” with no strings attached.
Because it takes place daily in everyday life, it forces everyone in the country to join this type of corruption.

In contrast, structural corruption lasts forever (“till death do them part”). The reason being is participants have made themselves guilty of an offense and the parties to this marriage could always report on each other.

According to literature, structural corruption relationships can extend lasting between one and more than 30 years.

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