Combatting corruption with public deliberation

South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):13-28 (2015)
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Abstract

Building on Seumas Miller’s concept of corruption leads me to conclude that the question of disposition is central to the concept of corruption, which prompts me to consider punishment theories with regard to deterring dispositions to corruption. However, problems with punishment as a stand-alone approach lead me to consider institutional reform recommendations. Although institutional reforms have the weakness of merely engaging corrupt disposition in a hide-and-seek game, I seek to reconcile institutional approaches and moral individualism by suggesting that the former is intended to aid the latter, in the sense that resisting corruption is a question of cost, and the onus is to determine how to reduce this cost. In this regard, prevailing proposals are inept without an enabling environment: public deliberation (comprising publicity and deliberation) is a necessary (though not sufficient) condition for combating corruption, because it (1) compels reason to function at its best, (2) demands rational accountability, and therefore account-giving, (3) increases ‘common-good’ thinking, (4) facilitates the recruitment of responsible institutional role-occupants, and (5) is a self-correcting instrument.

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References found in this work

A theory of human motivation.A. H. Maslow - 1943 - Psychological Review 50 (4):370-396.
The law of group polarization.Cass R. Sunstein - 2002 - Journal of Political Philosophy 10 (2):175–195.
Against Deliberation.Lynn Sanders - 1997 - Political Theory 25 (3):347-376.
On Traditional African Consensual Rationality.Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ani - 2013 - Journal of Political Philosophy 22 (3):342-365.
Africa and the prospects of deliberative democracy.Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ani - 2013 - South African Journal of Philosophy 32 (3):207-219.

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