4: The political, economic and cultural drivers of police corruption

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This is another theoretical chapter that generates a framework to thread through the context of Afghan policing. Theories related to a political economy approach to examine the interrelationship between bureaucratic agents and economic elites and the coping strategies of poorly waged public officials and police officers. This theoretical basis informs some aspects of the political and economic drivers of corruption. The political drivers specifically cover systemic corruption which is when corruption becomes institutionally embedded from the top to the lower levels. In addition, patronage, nepotism and ethnic favouritism forms a ‘moral economy’ to deter meritocratic recruitment. Moreover, state capture occurs when main parts of the state are infiltrated by narrow criminal and affiliated political interests for profit making, usually with illicit markets. The economic drivers are focused on corruption as a means of economic necessity, namely low pay, and opportunities to engage in corruption due to weak oversight or limited sanctions if detected for malpractice. The cultural drivers cover culture, motivation and the socialisation of behaviour within police forces and specific anti-corruption training that can help to mitigate police corruption.

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