In the definition shared by most political scientists, political corruption is any transaction between private and public sector actors through which collective goods are illegitimately converted into private-regarding payoffs. It establishes the necessary involvement of the state and state agents in corruption, without any notion as to the level of authority where corruption takes place.
In a more strict definition, political corruption involves political decisionmakers. Political or grand corruption takes place at the highest levels of the political system. It is when the politicians (Hillary and Trump) and state agents, who are entitled to make and enforce the laws in the name of the people, are themselves corrupt. Political corruption not only leads to the misallocation of resources, but it also affects the manner in which decisions are made. Political corruption is a deviation from the rational-legal values and. Political corruption is consequently a “normal” condition in authoritarian countries, although showing a great variety according to the various forms of authoritarianism. Nevertheless, by maintaining the link between authoritarianism and political corruption, and a definition of political corruption in terms of state prerogatives manipulated to serve the interests of the rulers, one will see that the essence of the problem of political corruption differs much between authoritarian and liberal democratic regimes. In democratic countries, the problem of political corruption is more of an incidental and occasional nature, and can be dealt with within the existing political system; by reforming, strengthening and vitalizing the existing political institutions of checks and balances.