Understanding Government Corruption and Bribes in One-page

CORRUPTION – Three levels of definition from general to specific. 

  1. MOST GENERAL – Corruption: the use of power entrusted to you for the benefit of others for your private gain.

  2. MORE SPECIFIC – Government Corruption: the use of government power for private gain (all types of private gain). 

  3. MOST SPECIFIC – Government Financial Corruption (GFC): the use of government power for private financial gain.

GFC is both the most common and most destructive type of corruption for a society. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the level of political and economic development of a nation is usually proportional to the level of government financial corruption (GFC) in that society.

Government Bribe (n): Something of value offered to or received by a government official in return for not performing what their governmental duty requires. (A bribe is defined by the motive not the actual outcome.)

Bribery (v): offering bribes to government officials   - vs -   Extortion (v): government officials asking for bribes 

Note: Systematic government financial corruption (GFC) is a continuous dance between bribery and extortion—two sides of the same corruption coin.

The Spectrum of Types of Bribes