State Capture: An overview

Filed under - Politics and government

Published on 12 March 2014 as a EU Helpdesk answer
Can you provide information on state capture in a seemingly well-run country? Are there many similar situations? What can be done to better understand the issue and to influence the system in the right direction?


This answer draws on a previous Helpdesk answer: "Influence of Interests Groups on Policy-Making."


1. Overview of state capture
2. Addressing state capture
3. References


State capture is one of the most pervasive forms of corruption, where companies, institutions or powerful individuals use corruption such as the buying of laws, amendments, decrees or sentences, as well as illegal contributions to political parties and candidates, to influence and shape a country’s policy, legal environment and economy to their own interests. The literature on state capture focuses to a great extent on former Soviet countries, but this form of corruption can also be found in other countries where politics and business have very close ties and transparency is lacking, such as in Singapore, South Korea, the United States and other European countries. State capture may also be a problem in countries where the military, ethnic groups or organised criminal groups are powerful and use the state to extract rents.This answer provides an overview of the main issues related to state capture and the reforms necessary to address it. 

Author(s): Maíra Martini, Transparency International,
Reviewed by: Marie Chene, Transparency International
Publication date: 12 March 2014
Number: 47

Download full answer

Country / Territory - International   
Language(s) - English   
Tags - State capture   |   interest groups   |   undue influence   

Contact the Anti-Corruption Helpdesk

If you work for one of our supporting partner organisations, submit your query to the Helpdesk:

More Helpdesk answers


What works to curb political corruption? A review of the evidence base

Can you provide a review of the evidence-base on what woks to curb political corruption?

See the answer


Regulating Private Sector Corruption

Please provide an update of the 2014 query on regulating private sector corruption. We are particularly interested in papers, research and resources ...

See the answer