“Political Corruption in the United States: A Design Draft”

Amitai Etzioni has posted this draft on SSRN (PS: Political Science and Politics).  Here is the abstract:

To establish the scope and level of corruption in the contemporary United States, a collaborative project of political scientists is called for. Such a study best start with explicating the definition of corruption various scholars employ. Three are here employed: using public goods for personal gains, deflecting public goods to private groups, and making such moves when they are legal but illicit. To assess corruption on all these levels, we must take into account that various forms — outlined below — that ‘capture’ takes beyond the corruption of the laws themselves. A study of the major differences in the level of corruption among the three branches of government may help deepen our understanding of the prevalence and causes of corruption. A study of ‘rent’ may help predict that future course of corruption. Other facets to be studied are merely listed as topics whose study warrants collaborative investigation.

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