A few notes on the book “Corrupt cities: a practical guide to cure and prevention” by Robert E. KLITGAARD, Ronald MacLean ABAROA, H. Lindsey PARRIS

On my road to Năvodari this Monday I’ve read, for the second time, “Corrupt cities: a practical guide to cure and prevention” – by Robert E. KLITGAARD, Ronald MacLean ABAROA, H. Lindsey PARRIS.

Why reread? To me it was not that easy to read a book in English with economic terms, so the first time I’ve read it (years ago), it didn’t left much o an impression. Now I’m back with a graduated faculty in Economics and some English readings and I’ve read it just fine. I actually appreciated the style.

What I liked about the book?
a. The style was straightforward, lots of active verbs, easy to comprehend sentences;
b. Logical structure;
c. Lots of case studies;
d. Filled with applicability;
e. Good ideas;

Two quotes I liked a lot:

C = M + D – A
Corruption (C) equals monopoly power (M) plus discretion by officials (D) minus accountability (A).
If someone has monopoly power over a good or service and has discretion to decide whether someone gets that good or service or how much a person receives, and there is no accountability whereby others can see what that person is deciding, then we will tend to find corruption. This is true whether we are in the public sector or the private, whether we are in a poor country or a rich one, whether we are in Beira or Berlin or Beirut.

How might one develop a strategy for preventing corruption in a specific setting?
1. Understanding corrupt systems, which requires analytical tools;
2. Diagnosing how specific corrupt systems now work in a particular system
3. Overcoming political and bureaucratic resistance, and garnering support;
4. Crafting a sequenced plan of action to heal corrupted systems, rupture a culture of cynicism, build political momentum, and transform city government.

You can read the whole book online here and download it here.

A nice read, I’d say

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