Corruption conversation questions

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Corruption refers to a lack of integrity or honesty (especially susceptibility to bribery) and the use of a position of trust for dishonest gain.


  • How much corruption do you think there is in your country? Do you think there is more or less than in other countries?
  • Does the press refer to it often? Do you know of cases which don't "make it" to the press?
  • Corruption can exist at many levels in a society. A corrupt policeman may accept a bribe to ignore an offence; a local politician and businessman may exchange money or gifts in order to secure government contracts; a head of state or a national government may engage in corruption on a massive scale to drain money from a country. Which forms of corruption, if any, have you seen?
  • Do you think it makes any difference if the corruption takes place in private businesses rather than in governments? If so, what is the difference?
  • What type of governments do you think are more likely to be corrupt - democracies or dictatorships? Why?
  • If corruption is a problem in a country, how could it be reduced?
  • Do you think that corruption is increasing day by day instead of decreasing?

A helping (back)hand(er)[edit]

  • Favouritism and nepotism, whereby jobs are given to friends or relatives, are also forms of corruption. Are you aware of any such practices?
  • What is the difference between nepotism and cronyism?
  • What is worse: grand corruption or petty corruption? Or both?
  • Do you know of any international organizations that fight against corruption?
  • How frequently do you think such practices are? What do you think are the consequences?
  • If you were the boss of a large corporation or government ministry and you were in a position to help out your friends and relatives, would you do so? What would you think about the ethics?
  • Do you think corruption can be fought with transparency?

In business[edit]

  • If you became aware of corrupt activities at the company where you work, what would you do?
  • Is it common practice in your company to receive gifts from suppliers at Christmas time? If so, what do you think of this custom?
  • At what value would a "small gift" change into a bribe?
  • The 78-year-old fraudster Bernie Madoff was sentenced to 150 years in prison in 2009. What do you think of this sentence?

See also[edit]