Public service ethics and accountability in a globalized world
In Chapter 14 the authors review a modern understanding of corruption in terms of globalization, as a significant mind-set shift from previous eras. They offer that a major global paradigm shift in our civic thinking, beliefs, and values is taking place. Globalization, as the new dominant international system, has replaced the core collective values paradigm from the Cold War Era when governance and economic systems were fixed and adversarial. The international rules revolved around respecting the influence of nations not encroaching on each other, based on adversarial ideologies of communism and capitalism and maintaining their customs in relationships and exchanges. Détente and diplomacy were the only hope for interaction. The authors offer that when the topic of corruption is discussed, citizens often link the term “corruption” with the notion of blatant illegal activities, such as a politician demanding or accepting a bribe, a worker embezzling public funds, or a public manager rigging the awarding of public contracts. Corruption, however, as the authors are suggesting, is more insidious and, if left unchecked, becomes toxic to the organization and eventually the society. For example, when the law says it is legal for special interest groups to pay members of Congress in the U.S. large sums of money to win their elections, the result is often a private benefit at the cost of the public’s interests. Such payments to politicians are entirely legal in some countries, but they are corruption, nonetheless, because private money is used to negate collective social purposes.