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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter March 28, 2013

The perception of corruption as social and institutional pressure: A comparative analysis of cultural biases

Davide Torsello
From the journal Human Affairs


This study is an empirical approach to answering the question: are there any universal factors that account for the origin, diffusion and persistence of corruption in human societies? The paper enquires whether the perception of corruption in politics and economics can be tackled as a form of cultural adaptation, driven by exogenous and endogenous forces. These are respectively: freedom of access and management of economic resources, and the pressures towards human grouping. Following the analytical insights of cultural theory, developed by Mary Douglas and later Aaron Wildavsky, variation is introduced through the ways in which corruption is perceived through the different behavioral and cultural biases that prevail in societies. This research introduces a cross-country comparative analysis of 57 countries attempting to test quantitatively whether institutional pressure and emphasis towards social grouping are correlated with corruption perception at country levels.

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Published Online: 2013-3-28
Published in Print: 2013-4-1

© 2013 Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License.

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