Corruption as a topic of legal, sociological, political and philosophical discussions is present through whole history. Observed through their  temporal  and content dimension, definitions of corruption could be divided as traditional and contemporary.

Traditional understanding of corruption includes Plato, Aristotle, Polibius, and Montesquieu's explanations of corruption  as  the  power decay, as  type of government that is not following the common interest of political community - State.

The second approach within traditional understanding of corruption developed Machiavelli and Russo. They believed that corruption is moral decay of people, i.e. annulment of social values and virtues in citizens.

Contemporary definition of corruption could be classified as follows:

  • Administrative definition of corruption - corruption is deviate behaviour of individual in relation to formal role
  • Economic definition of corruption– corruption is getting maximum profit by violating laws and moral
  • Public - Interest definition of corruption-using public utilities for personal interests.

Among the most present definitions in the expert literature and in public are those who define corruption as:

  • Missusage of public interest in the favour of personal interests (World Bank)
  • Violation of non partiality principle (Vito Tanci)
  • Deviate behaviour of individual in relation to formal role (Nye and Khan).