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Public corruption is generally viewed as an obstacle to the development of a country. Many governments, international organizations, and aid agencies as well as donor-states have special agendas to fight the problem. Yet in the countries with high levels

Public corruption is generally viewed as an obstacle to the development of a country. Many governments, international organizations, and aid agencies as well as donor-states have special agendas to fight the problem. Yet in the countries with high levels of corruption, arguments have been made that because corruption is pervasive, it has to have some benefit. While definitely not something to be proud of, public corruption is seen as an unavoidable side effect of development” (International Debate Education, 2011, p. 63).

Write a 2–4-page critical essay addressing the following claim about corruption:

“Corruption is a Western concept and is not applicable to traditional societies, where corruption does not have such a negative meaning. Many traditional societies with a ‘gift culture’ have a different understanding of civil responsibilities and etiquette. The social structure and political traditions of many countries are based on the beneficial exchange of rewards for services rendered, and cannot survive in its absence” (International Debate Education, 2011, p. 63 ).

Answer the following questions in your essay:

1.    Do you agree with any part of this claim? If so, which parts? If not, why not?

2.    What do the readings say on the topic of corruption as cultural tradition? What counter arguments do they make to the above assertion? Consider how gift culture and/or corruption is reflected in art, music, or film.

3.    How could gift-giving traditions be used by unscrupulous officials as a way to take advantage of people in the name of tradition?

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