Thomas Pepinsky, Francis E. Hutchinson, Maria Ela L. Atienza, and Hyeok Yong Kwon
Democratic politics is about making government work for the people by giving citizens a voice in government and the ability to remove leaders from office. Corruption is the misuse of public office for private gain. When politicians use their office to enrich themselves or their political allies, they violate the public’s trust and undermine the legitimacy of their governments. Politicians in liberal democracies should be more resilient to corruption than their counterparts in authoritarian regimes are, but experiences in Asia show that the region’s democratic governments are by no means immune from corruption. As these papers on Malaysia, the Philippines, and South Korea reveal, corruption remains a central policy issue for democratic governments in Asia, and the politics of controlling corruption is central to understanding electoral politics and elite political maneuvering.