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Does Democracy Check Corruption? Insights from China and India

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While democracy is widely expected to control corruption, by commonly used yardsticks democratic India has done no better than China at checking corruption, and may have fared worse. Important aspects of corruption in India reflect institutional and political shortcomings of its democracy. Differentiating among types of corruption, and among the kinds of monopolies they embody, helps account for that contrast. Further, in the absence of economic development, democracy may have particular vulnerabilities to corruption, as economic development involves not just resources but also institutions protecting opportunities and assets while restraining excesses and abuses. Thus, prospects for reform in a poor democracy are not encouraging, even by comparison to liberal authoritarian regimes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2009

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  • Comparative Politics is an international journal that publishes scholarly articles devoted to the comparative analysis of political institutions and behavior. It was founded in 1968 to further the development of comparative political theory and the application of comparative theoretical analysis to the empirical investigation of political issues. Comparative Politics communicates new ideas and research findings to social scientists, scholars, and students, and is valued by experts in research organizations, foundations, and consulates throughout the world.
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