The author argues that corruption can be looked at as an unsanctioned economic transaction, where the bribed person must take (or not) specific actions or perform a service in return for the invested bribe. This could also take the form of favor trading, or ensuring preferential treatment. The author argues that there are four types of obligation relationships: traditional kinship, traditional patron-client relationship, modern boss-follower and civil culture. The reactions to these kinds of corruption are different based on the type of the system which is normalized: a system that may seem obscene in one context can be perceived as routine in another. This hints at the subjective nature of corruption and the difficulties faced in establishing a unified definition that can account for different systems in different contexts.
Political Corruption: Concepts & Contexts