Approach to


Definitions and prevention methods

Primary cause

Prevention methods


(e.g., peer pressure, learning, opportunity)

External factors (usually social and economic) push an individual toward crime and corruption.

Reform by changing social and economic conditions, or by changing a person’s reaction to them.


(e.g., control, routine activities)

A free-will decision to commit corruption is guided by hedonistic tendency to maximize pleasure and minimize pain.

Deterrence through increasing the threat of apprehension and punishment.

Structural (e.g., weak or authoritarian jurisdictions with unequal law enforcement)

Systemic political and economic conditions in a jurisdiction that create an environment conducive to corruption.

Legal and structural changes to election processes, the balance of power in a jurisdiction, the enforcement of laws, and ability to file complaints without fear.


(e.g., prevent self-interested conduct; enhance recognition of harm, wrongfulness

Free-will decisions are guided by ethical principles. Illegal conduct occurs because it brings pleasure instead of shame due to its wrongfulness and harm to the victim and community.

Education and reinforcement of ethical decision making from an early age, and through job training and recruitment. Reduction of external factors that promote unethical decisions.