Literature on good governance emphasises transparency, political stability,
public audits, participation, accountability and fairness, the rule of law, and
the absence of corruption (Indian Journal of Public Administration, 1998;
Johnston, 1998; Khan, 1998; Theobald, 1999). Many of these aspects of good governance
are discussed elsewhere in the chapter, particularly in the sections on human
and institutional capacities and social infrastructure and participation. One
of the most controversial elements of good governance, the absence of corruption,
is discussed here. Although principles of good governance have been adopted in
most democratic governments and corruption tends to be either limited to isolated
incidents or to a few institutions, many developing countries have not adopted
such principles or put them into practice.
Until the 1980s the literature on corruption tended to take a relativist tone
and was functionalist in approach. Since then there has been a tendency to take
a more critical approach to corruption which includes embezzlement and bribery.
Corruption has been defined as "behaviour which deviates from the formal
duties of a public role because of private regarding (personal, close family,
private clique) pecuniary or status gains; or violates rules against the exercise
of certain types of private regarding influence" (Nye, 1967, p. 444), or
more recently as "the abuse of public roles or resources for private benefit"
(Johnston, 1998, p. 89). Corruption can be incidental, institutional or systemic.
Incidental corruption can be dealt with and controlled through existing legal
mechanisms in most countries. However, institutional and systemic corruption
is far more difficult to deal with. Khan (1998) argues that corruption occurs
when capitalist accumulation in its early phases creates new classes of privileged
property holders whose justifiable claim in relation to other potential contenders
may be limited and this leads to political side payments. However, not all these
payments deter economic growth. Hence, Khan (1998) argues that the economic
problem is not corruption per se but the political structures which generate
growth-retarding corruption. He argues that only to the extent that systemic
corruption hinders development (and in this context - technology cooperation),
should it be addressed as a priority.
Such corruption can be seen not only in the developing countries but also in
the developed countries. Since 1977, when the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
was adopted in the USA, the US is trying to end tax deductibility in relation
to bribes to foreign nationals in order to persuade them to buy certain technologies.
European and Japanese companies, however, continued to bribe. When the US started
to threaten sanctions on countries that condone bribery, the OECD Council on
Bribery in International Business Transactions stated in 1994 that each member
country should examine its own laws, and in 1998 the members signed an agreement
to make bribery a punishable offence. However, this may still lead to bribery
taking a more innovative form. On the basis of empirical research, Lambsdorff
(1998) argues that Swedish exports to corrupt import countries are lower than
those of Belgium, France, Italy, and the Netherlands.
Corruption in the developing countries tends to take the form of systemic and
institutional corruption. Johnston (1998) argues that when there is systemic corruption,
a long-term social solution is needed, and this calls for empowerment of the people
via education and enhanced participation. This fits in very well with the analysis
that increased participation of the local stakeholders in a technology transfer
deal will increase the likelihood of successful technology transfer (see section
4.4). Galtung (1998) argues that the international dimension of such corruption
can be partially tackled by social movements and environmental NGOs. For example,
Transparency International, an international NGO with about 80 national chapters
has introduced an Integrity Pact.