To become feasible to analyze a complicated issue such as corruption and its consequences to a country’s society, it is highly important to clarify the meaning of corruption and everything that lies behind this word.
Corruption is perceived to be the act where people in power use their favorable position to carry off personal profit. Usually, corruption contains bribery or moral deprivation and its dimensions can be seen everywhere within a society: in the socio-economic, the political and the environmental spectrum. Corruption can occur either in the private or the public sector and the results are equally damaging. The question of corruption is considered to be one of the biggest scourges for societies worldwide; a hindrance to development and growth that consequently undermines democracy, the smooth function of democratic institutions, the faith to political leaders and bellwethers. Also is a deadlock for the markets since it averts investments and creates a circle of fear, uncertainty and instability across citizens, deteriorating and braking society’s ties and statute.
In simple words, corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain (Transparency International, FAQ’s on Corruption).
According to Arnold Heidenheimer, the mass of definitions of corruption can be divided into three basic types, the public- office centered, the market centered and the public- interest centered (Heidenheimer, 1989, p.165). This statement makes it abundantly clear that corruption can be found everywhere. From the nepotism and clientelism of the public servants, to the lesional use of a position not in order to serve but in order to maximize ones profit and power as well as the favoritism towards one over another group within a society. All these aspects are captured and explained by one of the two benchmarking indicators that Transparency International is conducting, the Corruption Perception Index. However, corruption is not something that can be addressed only through numbers and scores. There are acts that might be illegal but yet not corrupt while other acts that are legal are also corrupt at the very same moment (Heidenheimer, 1989, p.31). So, as it becomes obvious, corruption is also a matter of perception. Public opinion’s perception on how corrupted a particular body or institution inside their society is considered to be. This is something reflected in the Global Corruption Barometer Index also conducted by Transparency International.
The main argument on why Transparency International is the most suitable organization to trust upon in order to examine corruption in a country is the aforementioned. The evaluation of a country’s corruption score and its comparison with almost all the other countries worldwide (CPI Index) when at the same time people’s opinions and mindsets are considered and evaluated (GCB), gives a spherical and concrete idea on the country’s status and situation.
What is more, Transparency International is an organization that was created and adjusted from the very beginning to the challenges globalization introduced. When corruption, among other problems, seized to be a matter that could be dealt by an individual country but on the contrary undertook a global character regardless borders and domestic governments, Transparency International gave with its two indexes a strong answer on how to deal with corruption as an issue of global governance, setting like that the global agenda and creating the global norms (Wang – Rosenau, 2001, p.25).
Since 1993, TI is a global actor sharing one vision; a world in which government, business, civil society and the daily lives of people are free of corruption (Transparency International, Our Organization - Overview). Towards this direction Transparency International stays a non partisan organization with a highly transparent profile in terms of funding and donations. It is in the organization’s policy that any donation exceeding the amount of 1000€ is always disclosed publicly, by being included in the Chapter's Annual Report and on the organization’s website (TI – Donation Policy, Procedure and Guidelines). Moreover, TI is free to receive money from any donor, as long as this donation does not affect the operation of the organization. This clarifies that the decision making is entirely up to the governing bodies of TI and not up to outsiders. So, it becomes clear that TI designates and defines its activities on its own, with no bias or external pressure.
With the legitimacy and the importance of the work of Transparency International proved, it is argued that is literally an organization leading by example. Demonstrates a pellucid way of operation to be attainable; and step by step drives institutions, statutes and countries to a solid goal: a corruption free reality.