o government intervention where they are not needed, in turn significantly affecting their ability to pursue policies where they are needed most, such as in safety and health regulation, environmental regulation, contract enforcement, or macroeconomic stabilization. In moral and philosophical discourse, corruption is considered as the misuse and abuse of position or power bestowed on an individual for their personal gain. Such corrupt actions may take the form of bribery, theft of state assets, bureaucratic/political corruption, or systematic and isolated corruption (Clausen et al, 2011: p220). While nepotism, favoritism, and cronyism are also considered acts of corruption in this discourse, the family-based nature of specific societies, especially in Asia, means that these acts are more acceptable.
Niehaus and Sukhtankar (2013: p245) write that corruption, which in this case means political corruption, is the use of public position and power illegitimately to accrue positive private gains. Another economically-inclined definition identifies corruption as actions that secretly provide services or products to third parties in order for them to influence their actions to their benefit, that of the third party, or even both and where this individual has authority. Legally, the definition of corruption is an activity that involves the abuse of power within legal confines, especially since those with authority and power are in a position to pursue laws and policies for their protection. Corruption as a concept covers a wide array of human actions. Thus, in order to comprehend how corruption may impact on socio-economic and socio-political systems, deconstruction of the term to identify particular transactions and activities that could be corrupt is important (Niehaus & Sukhtankar, 2013: p245). Essentially, corruption involves the misuse or abuse of public power and office for private gain.