Crime, Law and Social Change

, Volume 42, Issue 1, pp 61–81 | Cite as

Democratization and political corruption in the Philippines and South Korea: A comparative analysis

  • Jon S.T. Quah


The Philippines and South Korea have long had difficult corruption problems. More recently, both have experienced significant democratization. This article compares the two cases, first developing an analysis of corruption in each country, then laying out their reform strategies and assessing their effectiveness, and finally exploring the contrasting relationships between democratization and corruption that are found in these countries. The Philippines confront reformers with more difficult challenges, beginning with the size and decentralization of the society, but other contrasts are important as well. The political will required to produce successful reform has been lacking in the Philippines, for a variety of reasons, while recent anti-corruption initiatives in Korea have had stronger backing. Recent Korean reforms also emulate the successful approaches of Singapore and Hong Kong in important ways. By itself, democratization will not check corruption in either country, but where reform is accompanied by significant resources and where democratic accountability complements political will--more true of Korea than of the Philippines--significant progress can be made.


Comparative Analysis Significant Progress International Relation Successful Approach Difficult Challenge 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jon S.T. Quah
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceNational University of SingaporeSingapore

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