COVID-19, Quality of Governance and Institutional Corruption
Keywords:COVID-19 crisis, corruption, financial crimes
Corruption causes some crises, but others are inevitable. However, the effects of all of them are made far worse by corruption. Social problems and inequalities are thus exacerbated, justice and rule of law are undermined, and all of this increases social turmoil and security risks. Systemic corruption, fraud and mismanagement result in a lack of crisis preparedness for the prevention of certain crises or mitigation of unavoidable disasters. When natural disasters inevitably strike or other emergencies arise, inadequate preparedness or responses result in government distrust and legitimacy crises, which aggravate problems and cause further victimization. This paper analyzes the COVID-19 crisis through the analytical lenses of “lawful but awful” practices and of "institutional corruption". In this way, it emphasizes the need to pay attention to negative consequences some political, economic or other activities have on society, even though they are allowed by the law or promoted by governments. This form of analysis can guide debates on public policy and reform: if something is not right, we need to fix it.