Part 1- 10 pages
Please discuss and cover what role your study fills in this ‘literature’. Use the information for the following purpose throughout the paper:
To lead to conventional wisdom or set of debates
To settle a debate
To discuss how the work in this area has built on each piece
To answer the question with a new method
To suggest that previous findings are in fact spurious
To try a new variable that no one has considered
To address a gap in the literature
Research Design Components: The following are necessary to be included within the blueprint or the plan of your research.
• Research Question
You should clearly and explicitly state the research question that you are asking. Is it empirical or interpretive? This may be a single question or a broad question of your long-term research program followed by the specific sub-question that you are addressing in this paper. You should consider the scholarly origins of this question (perhaps you asked it due to a gap in the literature?). You should also in this section (or elsewhere) address the ‘so what?’ question: convince the reader that the answer to this question is important. Your introduction usually starts with the Research Question or builds to it quickly.
Part 2- 2 pages
following are necessary to be included within the blueprint or the plan of your
research.Research question: WHAT IS THE SOCIAL AND POLITICAL IMPACT OF CORRUPTION?
• Hypothesis/Thesis Statement and Variables
Explicitly state your hypothesis/thesis statement/statement of purposes as well as the variables or concepts in your analysis.
This section is where you expound on the reasoning you have for expecting a relationship between your dependent and other variables. What exactly is the nature of the impact of x on y?
o One you have laid out your question and your proposed answer and justified the rationale for both. In this section, you will transparently lay out the procedures by which you intend to answer your question. Next, you will need to provide a justification for your particular method. Why are you making these choices? Why, for example, are you using a particular measure—is it because the literature agrees that it’s an appropriate measure (cite!), or because a better measure would be too costly or difficult to obtain? If choosing an experiment, why is that the best data gathering procedure?
o The type of Method
§ If Qualitative:
• The case study
• The data collection techniques
o i.e., Interviews focus groups, field research, archival and document-based research, media.
• The type of analysis
o i.e., Content analysis, Discourse analysis
§ If Quantitative
• The population you are interested in
• The sample you are investigating
• How you will measure all of your variables
• Level of measurement
• Unit of analysis
• Values your variables can take
• Reliability of measures
• Validity of measures
§ Data needed
• Data gathering procedures
o This might be via experiment, survey, or the use of a data set.
§ Data analysis procedures
o What procedures are you planning to follow to analyze the data—statistical regression? Are you going to use formal theory.
• Ethics and Feasibility.
Finally, I would like you to discuss ethical considerations for the research.
Various sources describe corruption differently because there lacks a global consensus on the definition of the concept. However, for this review, corruption is used to mean a “behavior which deviates from the formal duties of a public role, because of a private-regarding, pecuniary or status gains, or violates rules against the exercise of certain types of private-regarding influence”. Studies classify corruption into three major categories- grand, political, and petty. According to transparency international, grand corruption mainly occurs in governments’ higher echelons and necessarily filters down, with its consequences extending to all functions of societies. Of all categories of corruption, grand is considered vast and most detrimental because of its far-reaching effects in a country. Some of the common examples of grand corruption emphasized by scholars include the siphoning of public money allocated for developmental projects for private use.
Transparency International also describes political corruption as the manipulation of policies, institutions, and rules of procedure in the allocation of resources and financing by decisionmakers, who abuse their position to sustain their power, status, and wealth. Aktan adds that political corruption can be further be divided into different types, such as bribery, extortion, embezzlement, favoritism, patronage, pork-barreling, logrolling, and vote-buying. An example of political corruption in public or private organizations is the falsification of a firm’s financial reporting to benefit from the fabrication of the final report. The third category of corruption, petty corruption, is described as everyday abuse of entrusted power by officials at the low and middle level during their interaction with citizens when seeking access to essential goods. Scholars note that petty corruption is, in many scenarios, unspoken of, because it rarely applies to people that are unknown to a locality.Lewis’s assertion suggests that petty corruption may be obscure, and often, may not receive much attention because of its regularity, which makes it almost “normal” in society.
Aktan’s argument suggests that grand corruption is the most detrimental because its impact can be felt across society. However, Ahmad and Salahuddin argue that low-level corruption has a higher tolerance and is seemingly lethal because it often lacks accountability and is recurrent. The two authors’ conflicting views sparks a debate on which category of corruption is the most lethal if left unaddressed.
Social Impact of Corruption
Studies go further to suggest that there are multiple faces of corruption whose remedies vary significantly. Most notably, Ferguson states that corruption can occur in the social, political, and economic context. The broad classification of the contexts of corruption by Ferguson provides the basis for further analysis of the vice in the three dimensions.
In his work, Lewis argues that, from a social lens, corruption is a ubiquitous impediment to community resilience. Resilience, as used by the author, describes the ability of individuals to recover from or overcome natural hazards. According to the author, resilience is often constrained by corrupt practices such as siphoning enormous amounts of money for disaster-prone countries into bank accounts in countries where such aid is received from. This view is affirmed by Ahmed et al., who state that discrimination, inequality, and corruption affect local vulnerabilities and resilience during hazards. The authors use the case scenario of two coastal communities, Nowapara and Pashurbunia, in Bangladesh to illustrate this aspect. The author notes that the effective utilization of external financial aid in the two communities enabled them to be well-connected with external entities, have better infrastructure services and economic solvency, and have adequate knowledge to handle upcoming disasters. Synthesis of information from the two authors builds on the existing knowledge, which suggests that when money allocated to disaster management in disaster-prone countries is corruptly utilized by politicians and commercial operators, it lowers societies’ ability to recover from natural hazards.
Studies also suggest that corruption is positively correlated to social inequality. According to Lewis, corruption is a significant perpetrator and perpetuator of inequality in today’s society. In the author’s view, corruption creates a system that ensures that the rich become richer while the poor remain poorer and under their counterpart’s control. Arguably, inequality is often exacerbated because the poor, despite their low living standards and low income, are forced to pay bribes to mid and high-level officers to access public facilities. Ambar also argues in support of this view, citing different empirical works such as studies conducted by Dincer and Gunalp to prove the correlation between corruption and inequality. In the author’s opinion, corruption triggers social inequality by diverting public spending from projects that are likely to benefit the poor, such as education and health, to those projects that favor individuals in the upper economic strata. Lewis also supports this view, arguing that corruption aggravates social inequality and impedes citizen’s access to essential indicators of the level of human life such as education and health.
While the empirical works appear to support the idea that corruption is a driver of inequality, some scholars contend this view, citing case scenarios that suggest overwise. Lewis cites an exception case from Bangladesh, which illustrates a case of income redistribution through corruption. Most notably, the author observes that Johir Ali, a resident of Bangladesh, paid a bribe to secure a job for a poor student, Mahmud, that lived in his house. After securing the job, Mahmud also indulged in petty corruption by charging a small fee to help tenants with their rent payments. Arguably, the author uses this case scenario to contend that corruption may not necessarily result in social inequality. Instead, it may, in exceptional situations, help redistribute income to the low-income earners in the country. Lewis’s contention introduces a new variable that has not been considered before- the relationship between corruption and income redistribution.
Besides social inequality, prior studies suggest that corruption, analyzed in the social context, causes poverty. Transparency International and UNDP aver that higher levels of government and commercial firms may create poverty contexts in a country. Notably, Lewis (2017) argues that when grand corruption occurs, it reduces domestic investment in basic needs such as health and education, thus leading to the impoverishment of individuals from whom the investment is redirected. A review of prior studies carried out in Nigeria also argues in support of the relationship between corruption and poverty. Most notably, the review reveals that the empirical studies that examined the relationship between the two variables using a bivariate Granger causality framework suggested a significant relationship between corruption and poverty without including economic growth as a transmission channel between the two variables. Arguably, poverty in the most corrupt countries is compounded by a lack of adequate states’ resources to implement effective anti-corruption legal systems.
While the studies by Lewis and Yusuf et al. complement each other, the review by the latter introduces a new question on the manner in which corruption and poverty are interrelated. According to the author, corruption is indirectly related to poverty, and their causal relationship is pillared on the economic variable. However, there remains controversy on the direction of influence that exists among the three variables. According to liberalists, corruption influences economic growth, which, in turn, influences poverty. On the contrary, statists believe in reverse influence, from growth to corruption and, ultimately, poverty. The existing controversy among liberalists and heterodox raises a debate on the mechanism that can be used to eradicate corruption in the country. Assuming the heterodox view implies that a country’s corruption and poverty level can only be lowered following economic growth. Conversely, liberalists may argue that eradicating poverty and economic growth depends on a country’s international corruption scale. The existing controversy about the direction of influence necessitates further research in this area of study.
Studies also suggest that corruption can constrain the promotion of human rights in a country. According to the literature, corruption inhibits the allocation of resources required to promote equal rights. For example, individuals’ right to health and education may be unfulfilled or offered in unequal measures in a locality where corruption is a tradition, because of the high expectations for a bribe in return for such services. Vishwanathan also adds that corruption subverts human rights by denying people the fundamental rights and, to a significant extent, threatening their lives. This view is also supported by the comparative analysis of human rights and the most corrupt countries. Most notably, scholars argue that countries with the highest corruption rates have the worst records of human rights. Peters uses examples of the most corrupt nations to illustrate this phenomenon. For example, the author notes that prior surveys ranked countries such as Syria, South Sudan, and Somalia as the lowest on transparency international’s corruption perceptions index of 2017. Similarly, the author notes that these countries have had numerous human rights problems over the past decades.
Soo-Am et al. also affirms Peter’s view on the casual relationship between corruption and human rights violation. In particular, the scholars note that corruption works as a human rights abuse by constraining states’ responsibilities to promote human rights. The authors further expand on the argument by stating that the international community obliges states to fulfill three aspects of human rights- respect, protection, and fulfillment. However, in countries where corruption is almost a tradition, the administrators may not meet these responsibilities adequately. Previous cross-country data also prove this perspective. Most notably, the 2004 study that focused on human rights and governance revealed that states with high levels of corruption had lower levels of political and civil liberties. Similarly, a replicate study cited by Eugen and Guglielmo analyzing countries’ data between 1980 and 2004 found a positive correlation between corruption and human rights. Theoretically and empirically, corruption is believed to inhibit the provision, protection, and fulfillment of human rights.
A growing body of literature also suggests that corruption is associated with brain drain problems. This view is supported by few empirical studies conducted among OECD countries. Notably, one study conducted to examine the influence of corruption on migration among 111 countries between 1985 and 2000 indicated that corruption is among the push factors fueling skilled migration.Similarly, an empirical investigation using a panel data covering 1995-2010 showed a strong correlation between corruption and emigration rates of individuals with high educational attainment. Additionally, a study conducted by Poprawe with a cross-sectional dataset covering 230 countries confirmed that corruption encourages emigration and discourages immigration. A common explanation for this phenomenon, also opined by scholars, is the low returns of education, economic conditions, and low quality of life. Notably, corruption is seen as an inhibitor of social advancement, slow economic growth, and unemployment. Therefore, the reduced social advancement and lack of unemployment force highly skilled individuals to migrate to other countries with better opportunities. Similarly, corruption prevents immigration as individuals refrain from traveling to countries that lack growth and economic advancement opportunities. Therefore, empirically, high corruption levels create a brain drain problem.
Recent studies have also established a correlation between corruption and insecurity. Bajpai notes that corruption is among the triggers of violence in the sense that individuals who benefit from corrupt practices are willing to do all they could do, including facilitating violence and politically motivated killings, to remain in the political power. This view is also supported by an empirical study conducted in Nigeria to test the two variables. Notably, the study’s findings indicate that the primary cause of insecurity in Nigeria is corruption and failure of governance to achieve the objectives contained in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Unfortunately, very few empirical studies have been done to confirm the interrelation between corruption and insecurity, thus necessitating further research in this area.
Political Impact of Corruption
Few studies have been conducted to examine the political impact of corruption. Out of these studies, several are inconclusive and present numerous and contradictory findings on the issue, thus necessitating further research on this area. Theoretically, it is argued that corruption erodes the legitimacy of honest elites and well-known institutions. Notably, a country where corruption is almost a norm discredits the validity of political officials who may not be involved in corrupt practices. Furthermore, corruption leads the country’s residents to question political leaders’ ability to act in their best interest. As the literature suggests, this negative view about corruption’s political consequences is often proposed by the moralist, who believe that corruption is harmful to governments and societies. Notably, this category of scholars views corruption as a detrimental aspect to all political elements, whether at the national or local level.
Moralists also view corruption as an impediment to political development. Theoretically, scholars argue that corruption constrains the developmental agendas promised by political regimes. Otusanya also argues in support of this view stating that corrupt practices undermine the large sums of government revenue by political and economic elites at the local and international levels. In turn, the misappropriation of the funds leads to failed political development, as governments may not have adequate revenue at their disposal to fulfill the agendas promised to their citizens.
Conversely, some studies argue that corruption can be beneficial in the political arena. A few scholars, particularly revisionists, suggest that corruption can help buy political access for the excluded. Arguably, aspiring politicians with minimum chances of leading, either as a result of their financial position, can indulge in corrupt practices to secure leadership positions. Johnston’s view is seemingly grounded on the utilitarianism theory, whereby the end justifies the means. In this context, the author attempts to argue that the need to access excluded political positions justifies the use of corrupt practices.
Furthermore, revisionists believe that corruption, viewed from a political lens, helps speed up cumbersome procedures and produce more effective policies than those emerging from legitimate channels. However, empirical studies are yet to be conducted to help identify the correlation between the two variables. Therefore, further research is required to confirm the existing inconclusive debate about the relationship between corruption and the establishment of effective procedures and policies.
As can be noted from the literature review, several studies have been conducted concerning the political and social impact of corrupt practices, proving that corruption is a critical area of study. However, most of the studies, notably, on corruption’s political effect, are inconclusive, thus creating a niche in the literature. Also, some of the previous research in this area have conflicting findings, as is the scenario of the harm and benefits of corruption, which triggers the need for further research to test the viability of these findings. Furthermore, most studies that focus on corruption and its impact in the two dimensions of the environment are theoretical and may require empirical research to ascertain the scholars’ views.
The planned research, therefore, aims to settle some of the debates concerning corruption and its political and social impact. Some of the secondary questions that will be addressed in the research include whether corruption can be politically and socially beneficial, as suggested in prior studies. Furthermore, the research will attempt to address the existing gap in empirical studies that explore the interrelationship between corruption and the political environment.
Research Question: Does corruption have an adverse social and political impact in a country?
The proposed research question is empirical as it seeks to identify the social and political impact of corruption through observation and synthesis of actual data rather than on theory. As noted in the literature review, corruption is widely spread in today’s society, and it has far-reaching adverse effects domestically and internationally. The adversities associated with corruption necessitates further research in this area to provide policymakers with a basis for developing anti-corruption policies.
Hypothesis/Thesis Statement and Variables
Hypothesis 1: Corruption has an adverse impact on the social and political environment.
In this hypothesis, the independent variable is corruption, while the dependent variables are social and political environment.
The planned research will mainly rely on statistical evidence, observation, and surveys. The primary subjects of the research are individuals residing in the target area of study. These individuals will include mid and high-level officials in public organizations and citizens who rely on the government to provide public goods and services such as education and health.
The primary theory behind the relationship between corruption and the political and social environment is based on the idea that corruption does not occur in isolation. Notably, corrupt practices involve people and systems, implying that the vice can transmit its impact into the social, economic, and political context.
The selected methodology for the proposed research is mixed methods. The study will incorporate a combination of secondary data analysis, observation, and web-based surveys. Most notably, a web-based survey is selected because of its ease of use during research. As the literature suggests, the survey authoring software packages and online survey services make online survey research much easier and faster than it was a few years ago. These features on web-based surveys will facilitate the ease of data collection during the research. Furthermore, a web-based survey is selected because of its ability to target a broad audience at a single time. During the study, a single web-based survey may be sent to several participants, thus eliminating the numerous paper work required in drafting manual surveys. Besides, the three techniques are selected because they are cost-effective, making them ideal for use in the research.
A qualitative method will be used to explore the relationship between the identified variables. Some of the data collection techniques that will be coupled with this method include field research, archival and document-based research, and surveys of the focus group. Content analysis will also be used to determine the presence of themes within the gathered data.
Data Analysis Procedures
The research will utilize a formal theory data analysis procedure. In particular, this data analysis procedure will facilitate the development of a formal, conceptual framework about the interrelation between corruption and the political and social environment.
Ethics and Feasibility
Ethics are essential components of research, regardless of the area of study. According to the literature, a scholar must observe ethics at all research stages to avoid research misconduct. Similarly, the proposed research will also consider various values such as informed consent, voluntary participation, and the use of accurate and non-fabricated results. Arguably, the use of non-fabricated data will render the research viable for replication by other studies.
Furthermore, the proposed research is delicate as it ventures into an issue that is a global concern. Therefore, rigorous research, presentation, and analysis will be required to provide adequate information that policymakers can use to make informed decisions. Hence, potential sponsors’ financial support will be sought to facilitate the study and ensure that thorough research is undertaken.
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