Democracy and corruption: A complex relationship

Shrabani Saha, Rukmani Gounder, Neil Campbell*, Jen Je Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


We argue that an 'electoral democracy' is not sufficient to reduce corruption. Our contention is that the institutions associated with mature democracy are crucial to successfully deterring corrupt behaviour. At the core of our argument is the idea that with well-functioning institutions, the probability of detection and punishment is sufficiently high to deter most decision makers from choosing to act corruptly. The empirical evidence we present supports this idea. The nonlinearity of democracy variables is tested to confirm that an advanced stage of democracy is crucial for combating corruption.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-308
Number of pages22
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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