Turning a blind eye?: a moral and theological examination of corruption in current Portuguese culture

Fernandes, Fabiano Lourenco Aleluia (2007). Turning a blind eye?: a moral and theological examination of corruption in current Portuguese culture. PhD thesis The Open University.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.21954/ou.ro.0000fa34


The subject of this thesis is contemporary Portugal from 1974 onwards. The object is corruption. The purpose is to examine the dynamics of both the occurrence of, and impunity to, corruption, as a means of evaluating the quality of democracy and improve it.

Part One (Problem and Awareness Pattern) focusing primarily on the Emaudio case study, the thesis establishes within politics and economics a summative evaluation of the most critical issues heeding to be addressed when dealing with alleged cases of corruption.

Part Two (Cause and Response Pattern) moves beyond a single case study to include both historical and current socio-religious, political and economic contexts of corruption, by exploring critically certain patterns of practice, structures of incentives and opportunities, and perceived cultural assumptions most likely to either nurture or ignore corruption. Three clusters of responses are advanced. They illustrate the inadequate administrative and judiciary responses of the anticorruption agencies, which include a detailed analysis of the Parliament’s Inquiry Commission regarding the dismissal of two deputy directors of the Judicial Police.

Part Three (Tentative Solution Pattern) seeks to develop morally and theologically a means of minimising such corruption and the tendency to ignore it, by formulating an alternative framework which could be used both as a foundation and a starting point (first phase only) for a nationwide, comprehensive, and a multidisciplinary anti-corruption scheme. A classic (10 Great Words) and contemporary (Singapore experience) case study are provided prior to proposing eight principles upon which to base the new anti-corruption alternative response. This follows a tripartite jointly approach of top-down (political will), bottom-up (civil society) and middle-ground (administrative and judiciary) structures.

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