Writing for The Nation (Nigeria), Global Integrity contributor Thompson Ayodele calls to focus on shared institutions, not individual failings, when understanding corruption:
Rather than personifying the war of corruption, it is imperative to build effective institutions that would expose corrupt individuals and ensure that they do not escape justice. The difference between a country where there is a low level of corruption and a country where corruption constitutes huge problem can be explained by the quality of the shared rules and the institutions which coordinate individuals. Some countries adhere to rules which engender trust among public office holders and provide the incentive to perform. Others have rules system that allow officials to milk public purse and further deprive their citizens the fruits of risk taking efforts. Human beings anywhere depend on the right kind of institutional system.
For those that still believe the US is devoid of such corruption, it would be instructive to read about human trafficking for federal entitlement money at http://www.family-justice.org Over 200 documents and it all goes back to our federal government. Scary.