There are different views on the concept of democracy as there are different views of corruption, where the latter is defined as “the abuse of public roles (office) or resources for private gain” (Johnston, 1998, p. 174), whilst there are also as many views on the relationship between them. It is considered that more democratic and greater developed countries are less prone to corruption (Treisman, 2000). However, this statement is not completely reliable (as corruption is still a hidden phenomenon) and such a theory is not supported by a statistically unambiguous statement on specific aspects or differences between countries. The relationship between the democratic system of government and the ability of citizens to hold elected representatives accountable is similarly not straightforward. In practice, citizens struggle to control the corruption of people in power through elections or other such forms of democratic participation. Due to this, corruption within democracies can be perceived as a form of exclusion conducted through democratic institutions and practices, preventing citizens from making decisions that will ultimately affect them. This article examines the areas in which the citizen decision-making process suffers from corrupt activities, and consequently undermines the democratic order itself by creating exclusion. The first section points out the globalization phenomenon as a root for the appearance of corruption under democratic institutions and practices. The second considers the problem of lobbying, defined as “a form of legislative subsidy - a matching grant of policy information, political intelligence, and legislative labour to the enterprises of strategically selected legislators” (Hall and Deardorff, 2006, p. 69). The next section highlights the issue of funding political parties (permissive campaign finance laws). Lastly, the final section raises question over how corruption depends upon electoral systems, which, according to the findings of McCann and Redlawsk (2006), are perceived by the public as the least corrupt activities. Whereas lobbying and funding of political parties should be examined on an individual level, in so much as they are the vehicle of formation and promotion of citizen’s political preference, the electoral system should be regarded on an aggregate level, containing the rules on how the formatted preferences are cast, embodied by the government of the state. The main aim of this research is to evaluate the effect that corrupt activities have upon democracy, alongside possible alternate solutions and the efficiency of their implementation, concluding that such democratic practices and institutions are a “necessary evil” for a democratic regime.

Globalization and the Decline of Authority in Governments

The phenomenon that helps to explain how corrupt activities take place under democratic systems of government can be explained from the following perspective. Electoral democracy is arranged and designed in a way that implements policies for a clearly defined territory, along with the irrefutable approach that elected governments are supposed to be accountable to the electorate. However, in the context of economic globalization, the ability of democratically legitimised state power to create laws and implement policies within their state is reduced (Das and DiRienzo, 2009). Meanwhile, as the ability of governments and parliaments to implement their own policies has been steadily declining as a result of globalization, democratic decision-making processes have gradually become subject to erosion by transfer of responsibilities to administrative, regulatory, and specialised institutes of authorities. These "guardian" organisations are characterised by a large degree of autonomy and professionalism, but also lack public accountability and control (Rose-Ackerman, 1978), making them potentially dangerous from the standpoint of oligarchy and corruption. As a result, the on-going process of globalization exists at the root of how corrupt activities can take place under democratic norms without violating the law, but undermine democracy itself. Identifying the source of the problem can help to abolish the erosion of democratic norms, and strengthen institutions in order to minimise the harm of corruption.