Introduction: Corruption as a Historical Phenomenon

Úvod: korupcia ako historický fenomén

The author introduces the main conceptual points of view and theories of corruption prevailing in social scientific research in the past four or five decades. Vörös analyse the problematic aspects of the traditional definitions, which regard to the place/sphere of occurrence of corruption (public office sector) and its legal demarcation as the main criteria for the defining of corruption. According to Vörös, the problem with “office-centric” and “legalistic” definitions is not their validity (he deems them plausible), but he points out that they are often proposed in a rather dogmatic way reducing corruption to an exclusively modern and western phenomenon. This definitional approach leaves little room for the exploring of various aspects of its origin and evolution.