Debate on corporate corruption in the light of the 24-year sentence imposed to Park Guen-Hye in South Korea

Yesterday, I participated in an interview-debate on TRT World television, which is Turkey’s first international English-language news network with a global audience of over 260 million households. The debate was part of The Newsmakers, which is TRT World’s flagship current affairs programme, and focused on the fight against corruption in the light of the 24-year sentence imposed to Park Guen-Hye in South Korea.

Over the course of the debate, I had the opportunity to focus on several key issues such as the necessity of fighting against corporate corruption through a multidimensional approach (i.e., criminal investigations and prosecutions; transparency of the administrative processes; cultural changes; a new social pact).

I also stressed the importance of the risks connected with the potential distortion consisting of using the fight against corruption as an instrument to get rid of political opponents (e.g, see the Chinese experience) and related to the use of exemplary punishments for the sake of general deterrence.

Another point I decided to stress was related to the very corporate structure that characterizes Korean enterprises, which are known as “chaebols.” As I have already argued in a previous article, their extremely hierarchical structure fosters unswerving loyalty and passive acceptance of corporate misconduct. Such an issue should be addressed by the South Korean government.

Finally, I openly supported the emerging idea of considering corruption as a violation of human rights. In that regard, it is exemplary that, under the presidency of Barack Obama, one of the strategies of the White House was to work “within the broader international system, including the U.N., G-20, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the international financial institutions, to promote the recognition that pervasive corruption is a violation of basic human rights and a severe impediment to development and global security” (see the U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY STRATEGY 2010).

Please find the video of the interview-debate below.

2 thoughts on “Debate on corporate corruption in the light of the 24-year sentence imposed to Park Guen-Hye in South Korea

  1. Punishment is important in order to stop corruption. Although 24 year is on higher side but giving punishment spread a message among corrupt people that now they are not free to do corruption. The head of corporation believes that they are king and can do any thing in the company. They not only make huge profits by corruption but also exploit employees. Employees and others are not so strong to take any action against corporation and therefore existence of Corporate Governance and initiation of criminal proceeding will help a lot to the weaker section in getting justice.

  2. Lovely and Interesting debate about the corruption relating South Korea issue. Corruption as Costantino rightly pointed out ‘as a pervasive phenomenon”. Author also have rightly hitted on the prime and crucial issue of “loose culture”. There are three glasses from where we could tackle the corruption:

    1. By Nature, people’s nature is like something which needed to be bound by something and they every time are in need of guardianship for whom they could follow. Nepalese Proverb “if you want heat just burn log, if you want knowledge to follow old people”. Its not just a proverb but a experience and guardianship because you might not get trapped and walk very safely. Similarly, when we have guardianship we are at least scared of something but what if we overthrew it ?? A good example would be Nepal, where we can distinctly see the corruption level before 2008 (when monarch was abolished) and after it. A strong point for me would be when we lose our follower every time throughout the world we have faced a traumatic situation whether it would be monarch abolition and returning of it in UK would be best example. [Natural Theory]

    2. Whenever an individual actively participate in the role of the state with full and active participation with full effort, no institution would get free from corruption: Active ownership. Active ownership contains the element of morality in terms of Immanuel Kant’s “Categorical Imperative” (CI) where all things irrespective of any greed or any desire needs to be fulfilled to reach the principle of morality. Thus when an individual irrespective of any act applies with this principle in align with morality could see the progress of corruption control. [Book: ‘Corporate governance and performance’, Colin Melvin and Hans-Christoph Hirt)

    3. Despite the denial of the author about harsh punishment as deterrence theory, it is inevitable to bypass the principle in a serious crime like corruption. Corruption being a pervasive and worldwide phenomenon might make a world commitment to make any kind of corruption crime as serious crime and punishment with the last maximum punishment infringement of the principle of “ignorance of the law is no excuse”. [Criminal Law approach]

    No one should be excused and given immunity or leniency in regards to corruption. The money comes from hard work after sweating of hard-working people. We should respect there kind and hard work of everyone.

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