Challenges in Controlling, Combating, and Preventing Corruption in Developing Countries

  • Branislav Simonović


In developing countries where there is a movement of the people toward democratic government, the amount of resistance to corruption is determined by a number of factors, including having the political will to combat corruption.

The citizenry must have the motivation to change the disproportionate influence of the top layers of government by efforts to increase the influence of the civil society. This change will be resisted in any society where there is considerable corruption, since those in power will resist any change through which they will lose their power.

Theories relating to the reasons why corruption exists in many governments of developing countries and the reasons why attempts to prevent or reduce the amount of corruption in developing countries often fail are grounded in two models. The principal-agent model emphasizes the relationship between the leaders of government and those who administrate government operations. In this model, the principals (leaders in government) turn over the tasks of administration to the agents (administrators of government programs) who tend to serve their own interests rather than the interests of the agent. Given the fact that the governments of developing countries do not have the resources to monitor the agents, these agents have the opportunities to misuse their power and pursue self-interests, above the interests of the state.

The patron-client model implies that the patron enjoys access to state-created resources, property rights, and other benefits. The clients gain their access to such state-related resources through their relationship with the patron. A thesis that the patron-client model of corruption is a better explanation of corruption in developing countries than the principal-agent model is developed in the chapter.

In the chapter, an analysis of the questions regarding the missing of political will in combating corruption in developing countries is presented. The prevention of corruption in the governments of developing countries must address the corruption of the institutions identified by the citizenry as being the most corrupt. These are political parties, the police, and the judicial system.

The reasons why citizens tolerate corruption in government and public service institutions are many, including fear, the belief that nothing can be done to change the system, and, for some, self-interest, since they benefit from the corruption. Transparency International and many other nongovernment organizations have had some success in exposing the corruption of government officials and helping the justice agencies bring the corrupt officials to justice.


Corruption Fraud Transition process Principal-agent theory of corruption Patron-client theory of corruption Political will Rule of law Corruption prevention Transparency International Whistle-blowers 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Branislav Simonović
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Law, University of KragujevacKragujevacSerbia

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