"Corrupted" and "Corruptors" redirect here. For the Japanese doom metal band, see Corrupted (band). For the American television series, see Target: The Corruptors!.
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In philosophical, theological, or moral discussions, corruption is spiritual or moral impurity or deviation from an ideal. Corruption may include many activities including bribery and embezzlement. Government, or 'political', corruption occurs when an office-holder or other governmental employee acts in an official capacity for his or her own personal gain.
This article deals with the commonplace use of the term corruption to mean dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power.
[hide] 1 Etymology
2 Different Scales 2.1 Petty
3 Different Sectors 3.1 Government/Public Sector 3.1.1 Legislative System (Political) 3.1.2 Executive System (Police)
3.1.3 Judiciary System
3.4 Non-Government Organizations
4 Methods 4.1 Bribery
4.2 Embezzlement, theft and fraud
4.3 Extortion and blackmail
4.4 Abuse of discretion
4.5 Favouritism, nepotism and clientelism
4.6 Improper political contributions
4.7 Conduct creating or exploiting conflicting interests
7 See also
8 References 8.1 External links
The word corrupt (Middle English, from Latin corruptus, past participle of corrumpere, to abuse or destroy : com-, intensive pref. and rumpere, to break) when used as an adjective literally means "utterly broken".
 Different Scales
Corruption can occur on many different scales. There is corruption that occurs as small favours between a small number of people (petty corruption), while there is the corruption that affects the government on a large scale (grand corruption), and corruption that is so prevalent that it is part of the every day structure of society (systemic corruption).
"Petty" corruption occurs at a smaller scale and occurs within established social frameworks and governing norms. Examples include the exchange of small improper gifts or use of personal connections to obtain favors. This form of corruption is particularly common in developing countries and where public servants are significantly underpaid.
Main article: Political 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 and in those without adequate policing of corruption by anti-corruption agencies.
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 prone to corruption due to their independence.
Main article: Systemic corruption
Systemic corruption (or endemic corruption) 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. Specific acts of corruption include "bribery, extortion, and embezzlement" in a system where "corruption becomes the rule rather than the exception." Scholars distinguish between centralized and...