Corruption Problems of Democracy and Kleptocracy, and the Comparison of the Problems and Solutions in Both Regimes

The extent of corruption in international negotiations

The extent of corruption in international negotiations has recently become a source of concern for several regimes. While corrupt individuals constantly benefit in the short run by sharing looted benefits with corrupt leaders, the public continues to lose huge amounts of money. According to Rose-Ackerman and Palifka (37), kleptocratic regimes involve corrupt leaders who use their power to exploit people as well as available natural resources in the regions they rule. Leaders in kleptocratic nations’ principal goal is to accumulate wealth and political power for themselves (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka 38). On the other hand, democracy entails the rule of the majority whereby a system of representation is adopted when people decide to exercise their sovereign powers either directly or through elected representatives. Leaders in both the Kleptocratic and democratic governments are likely to engage in corrupt practices though, due to the differences in the leadership styles of the regimes, the types of corrupt practices and the corresponding solutions may differ.

Corruption problem in Democracy

In a democratic government, elected leaders may participate in corrupt practices. One of the corruption problems that may emanate in such a regime involves tax evasion. The leaders may decide to develop illegal practices whereby they do not pay taxes. The leaders may fail to report income, or in some cases, they may indicate expenses that the law does not allow. In some circumstances, the leaders may blatantly fail to pay the tax owed to them. Therefore, leaders may fail to submit the income taxes to the government, hence depriving the nation a lot of revenues. Since the elected leaders may participate in businesses freely, economic freedom and favorable business environments may allow them to take part in business activities (Stockemer et al. 74). However, since they are elected by citizens, it may be difficult to remove them from power quickly. Consequently, they may get the incentives to participate in corrupt dealings through tax evasion.

Solution to a Corruption Problem In a Democracy

A solution to tax evasion in a democratic government may entail the enactment of the relevant policies that deter tax evasion practices. The government and other lawmakers may make laws and regulations through the legal system that set punitive measures against the corrupt individuals (Stockemer et al. 75). Such rules may be reinforced by encouraging citizens to report any observed corrupt deals being perpetuated by leaders in the regime. For instance, the lawmakers may enact a law that makes the tax evasion criminal offense and any culprit found may be jailed for many years while he or she is also forced to refund all the tax evaded as well as the outstanding interests. Such measures would subject those who evade tax to profound suffering and financial losses especially when they are jailed. The strategy is practical within a democratic system because in most cases, there law enforcement institutions would be working efficiently thereby requiring any person who takes part in corruption to face the legal punishments even if such an individual is a politician.

Corruption Problem in Kleptocracy

Kleptocratic governments always have leaders whose primary intention is personal welfares rather than societal benefits. The regime has a large number of careless potential bribe payers. One form of corruption that may be common in a kleptocratic government involves swindling public funds from government institutions like the government-owned companies. While using their powers, such leaders might appoint their cronies into the leadership positions I such companies thereby demanding regular payment of vast sums of money from the money allocated to such institutions without any legal basis or approval. Any refusal by the appointed officers may lead to their dismissal from such leadership positions (De-Waal 347). In the process, the companies would lose funds without the public realizing thus making it difficult to establish because, in most cases, the leaders will also try to seal any opportunity that may lead to the revelation of such criminal activities.

Solution to a Corruption Problem in Kleptocracy

Leaders in the kleptocratic government may have the sole desire of corruption from the public companies, but in most cases, they do not have perfect tools at their disposal to maintain their practices when the companies are not available (De-Waal 351). Therefore, the best solution in such a case is to carry out privatization of public enterprises. For the companies that are trading on the stock exchange markets, the government may allow the private investors to buy all the shares so that the shares are not traded on the stock exchange anymore. Similarly, public companies not participating in the stock market may be sold to private investors so that the resulting sales revenues are used for other activities that benefit the entire public. Privatization also leads to the efficiency of the firms sold to the public because they may then be subjected to competition from other companies thus enabling the citizens to benefit from efficient services and quality products. The government through the corrupt leaders would, therefore, have limited opportunities for corruption because privatization makes the companies private properties into which the public money may not be channeled hence protecting public resources to be used in other beneficial programs.

Comparison of How Corruption Problems and Corruption Solutions Differ Between Democracy and Kleptocracy

Corruption problems in the democracy may be carried out using the available ineffective laws that either fail to detect corrupt practices or may not offer the relevant solutions to people who are found committing fraudulent practices (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka 39). Therefore, whereas tax evasion may be carried out in both the democratic and kleptocratic forms of governments, the behavior may be more pronounced in the democratic way of governance than in kleptocracy. In democracies, leaders may choose to bypass some weak laws to steal the public money as the concealment of exploitation is the most straightforward way instead of directly engaging in corruption (De-Waal 353). However, in the kleptocratic regimes, leaders may deliberately disregard the available laws since they have a lot of power and no action may be taken against them even if they are found to have stolen public money. Therefore, the may freely steal public money from the public institutions or companies since it is a natural process in a kleptocratic government as rules are rarely followed.

Similarly, kleptocratic governments are led by people who have no representative mandate and, therefore, may indulge in corruption because they are not answerable to any public group. Such leaders may only be reporting to their appointing authority thus stealing from public companies may have minimum consequences. On the other hand, leaders in the democratic forms of governments are commonly representatives of the public or sections of the public (Rose-Ackerman and Palifka 43). Consequently, they may have an incentive to behave in an ethical manner hoping to be re-elected into the office again hence adopting more secretive ways of stealing public money like tax evasion instead of a more open corruption from public companies. Establishment of effective laws would be a better way of deterring bribery in democratic governments because it may lead to the prosecution of the corrupt people using the laws and law enforcement institutions that may be operational in the democracies (Stockemer et al. 89). However, in the kleptocracies, enactment of laws may not be an effective strategy for preventing corruption due to widespread impunities. Minimize the corruption opportunities by privatizing the public companies would, therefore, be the most appropriate technique.


While leaders in both the democratic regimes and kleptocratic forms of governments may operate differently, they all take part in corruption though they may device different ways to steal. Similarly, the solutions to corruption in both the democratic and kleptocratic governments may vary. Democracies are led by people who represent their electorates and would adopt cautious ways of corruption while the kleptocratic are mostly free as they may engage in corruption scandals with few consequences. Therefore, there is need to develop the most relevant strategies for curbing corruption in both the regimes.

Works Cited

De-Waal, Alex. “When kleptocracy becomes insolvent: Brute causes of the civil war in South Sudan.” African Affairs, vol. 113, no. 452, 2014, pp. 347-369.
Kumar, Pawan. “Conceptualizing political corruption in a democracy: A contested domain.” Revista Estudos de Politica, vol. 1, no. 2, 2013, pp. 429-900.
Rose-Ackerman, Susan, and Bonnie J. Palifka. Corruption and Government: Causes, Consequences, and Reform. Cambridge UP, 2016.
Stockemer, Daniel, et al. “Bribes and ballots: The impact of corruption on voter turnout in democracies.” International Political Science Review, vol. 34, no. 1, 2012, pp. 74-90.

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