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JSPES, Vol. 27, No. 3 (Fall 2002 )
pp. 341-362

Secondary Corruption: The Concept of Political Illness

Herbert H. Werlin

Various problems are presented with the standard definition of corruption: "the misuse of public power for private benefits." Consequently, an alternative definition is suggested: "the subversion of statesmanship by partisanship" or "of governance by greed," using political elasticity theory. From this, a distinction is made between primary and secondary corruption, based upon the ability or inability to control manifestations of greed. Case studies are then presented to illustrate this distinction. Finally, suggestions are made for treating political illness, which is caused by (or another name for) secondary corruption.