This study surveys the institutional conditions that produce corruption in BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations. While this study focuses on BRIC as a case study in institutional corruption, it emphasizes the special role that each nation plays in the evolution of BRIC as a part of the global political economy. We utilize a helix structure as a means of expressing the intertwined, trans-dimensional aspects of corruption in BRIC among its various institutions. Our "quadruple helix model" reveals that the presence of a strong, meaningful alternative civil society is a significant fourth helix in several big emerging economies. This model demonstrates that data collected from multiple sources can effectively characterize the multi-dimensional systemic features of corruption if they are understood as institutional forces that evolve in sync with one another. This model demonstrates that, while the conventional wisdom that economic growth reduces corruption, bureaucratization and other institutional problems can increase corruption, especially when there are few conscious efforts to manage growth in relation to the evolution of civil society.
Keywords: global political economy, BRIC, emerging economies, institutional analysis, corruption, international business, world civil society
Corruption practices seem ubiquitous in the global economy, with some countries business environments more affected than others. The United Nations Compact estimates that corruption adds a 10% "corruption tax" on the cost of doing business globally and 25% additional cost of doing business with developing countries (Bajoria, 2011). Corruption affects a country's political, social, and economic development (Man, 2009). It inhibits national economic growth and development and corrodes social equality. BRIC nations, despite their rapid economic growth and development, have not been able to address the issue of corruption as effectively as one would expect, given their new importance in the global economy. These economies have not been able to match their increasing economic importance with ethical standards that imply improved levels of economic and social welfare.
Our primary purpose is to demonstrate that BRIC serves as an example of corruption that has developed partially to strong anti-national sentiment. Each nation has undergone dramatic social and political changes, and as a result, has produced a culture of resistance to national government. Thus, a long-enduring strain of civil society has developed in big emerging economies that replace the social contract that nation-states provide its people. It has been established that Brazil, Russia, India and China do operate as a significant, coordinated unit, and as a group have often been designated as the Big Emerging Markets of the global political economy (Economies) (Gou & Guo, 2011; Cui & Lui, 2000) or BRIC (Brazil, Russia, China, and India) countries (Walsh, 2012). Thus, the evolution of BRIC as a powerhouse in the global political economy marks the development of globally relevant patterns that have previously been under-expressed. While other forms of economic cooperation and integration have occurred through historical and cultural markers (i.e. the European Union and MERCOSUR), BRIC has occurred through channels that are not regionally cultivated. Consequently, if we are to understand the roots of corruption within nations, we must do so by first acknowledging that corruption is in part a response to perceived faults of the nation-state by its own people. What is the future of corruption in big emerging economies (as a case study for nations that have recently increased their involvement in global economic affairs) as their relationship with the world changes?
Table 1 illustrates the ranking of BRIC in the global "Corruption Perception Index 2012" provided by Transparency International. In relation to 183 countries, BRIC nations fared considerably low if one takes into account their recent status in the global economy. …