Dans le cadre de ses midis de l’éthique, Emanuela Ceva (University of Pavia, Italy), chercheure invitée au CRÉ, nous présentera ses travaux de recherche.
Political corruption occurs when institutional actors, entrusted with the public power either to make or to implement public rules, make a distorted use of that power and bend such rules either for obtaining some personal advantage or promoting a partisan agenda. In so doing, they make an illegitimate use of their entrusted public power. Such a use is generally regarded as wrong. But, exactly, what kind of wrong
does this form of corruption imply? Could we say in any meaningful sense that political corruption is an injustice rather than a more generic moral wrong? Understanding the exact sense in which political
corruption is wrong has important implications concerning the state’s legitimate and required action to counteract this form of corruption through the use of coercive power. One possible way to understand the
injustice of corruption consists in deriving such an understanding from the theory of the public order that one adopts. On this basis, for example, liberals and republicans have presented very different
stories. I suggest that a general account of the wrong of political corruption is possible and I develop such an account as an instance of relational injustice. The relational injustice of political corruption
consists in a violation of the dignity of citizens as potential makers of claims who are entitled to enter, in this capacity, relations of mutual accountability, which political corruption disrupts. Both
liberals and republicans may recognize this account as underpinning their different moral qualms towards political corruption. This leaves us with a richer, overarching account of the wrong of political
corruption capable of guiding the state’s action across different political contexts.