Investigating Corruption in the Afghan Police Force
Instability and Insecurity in Post-Conflict Societies

6: Social construction of corruption


This short chapter unpacks the social construction of corruption which is then linked to the Afghan context. The morality of acts, corruption being deemed as an immoral act, evilness and dirtiness is contrasted with corruption forming the basis of a social contract or connections to get things done. This debate provides the contention between wickedness and undermining red tape to benefit political and economic integration under a functionalist model. In particular, examples derive from Afghan civil servants who are poorly paid and thus the public recognise that a gift is required to speed-up the service process which in turn engrains corruption in everyday interactions. Gift-giving is subsequently discussed in the contexts of China and Russia to maintain personal relationships and recognisable circles respectively. These contexts infer that gift-giving practices are practices to preserve business and social relations in a variety of contexts which differ from Western criminological literature deeming it as corruption or an integrity violation.

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