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Reciprocity and Participation in Corruption

Reciprocity and Participation in Corruption


In Philosophy, reciprocity refers to the fundamental moral principle to “treat others as you would like to be treated.”

In governance, this rule is also considered golden with the word’s meaning tweaked to refer to nations, classes, and levels of power among a community’s citizens.                  Reciprocity and Participation in Corruption

  • Through the principle of reciprocity, favours, benefits, or penalties that are granted by one institution or individual to another, should be returned.
  • For example, reciprocity has been used in the reduction of tariffs, the grant of copyrights to foreign authors, the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments, and the relaxation of travel restrictions and visa requirements between nations.                    Reciprocity and Participation in Corruption
  • Cooperating in a system that reflects the principle of reciprocity demonstrates that the government is building a standard for behaviour among officials.
  • These standards exert their own pressure for government action, contributing to the development of long-term obligations between institutions, individuals, and levels of power.

This concept is important as a goal for good governance since ultimately, they will not need to seek repercussions to poor behaviour, but can act with confidence knowing that their cooperative actions will be repaid in the long run.


  • Reciprocity, accountability, and transparency refer largely to the people in positions of power, but for corruption to truly be avoided, the other part of the equation, citizens, must also be considered.
  • Participation is the process through which citizen’s influence and share control over government’s priority setting, policymaking, resource allocation, and access to public goods and services.
  • Parliament is in a position to play a leadership role in promoting greater participation by opening up its practices and procedures to the public.              Reciprocity and Participation in Corruption
  • For example, parliamentary debates could be televised and records of these debates could be made publicly available, including through the Internet.
  • Constituency offices as well as elected officials at all levels can also help foster greater participation. Furthermore, committee meetings should be open to the public so that closed meetings are the exception rather than the rule.                                Reciprocity and Participation in Corruption