Kenya, like any other developing country, is challenged in its politics, governance, and public sector economics due to the social vice of corruption. In developing countries, most central government institutions are overtly threatened by corruption, which is both a deliberate and unconscious breakdown in human morals by public servants.
Many leaders at all levels have accepted corruption in Kenya’s governance system, but the social vice has long been misunderstood as the isolated legal problem of the culprit.
This is in stark contradistinction with a technical reality that corruption, as institutionalized dishonesty, is merely an expression of our human nature tendency to dissemble or cheat as an ecological need to survive. Therefore, an act of corruption is the outcome of social and biological systems, and not just an isolated legal problem.
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We can intellectually explain the human behavior of corruption as a challenge to devolved governance, by using the mathematical model of game theory in applying the concept of the prisoner’s dilemma.
Game theory of corruption has diverse bases. It is first based on the game theory of operational research, which treats an economic operation as a game in which each player(s) takes a course of action that has a higher pay-off or benefit and defects from a course of action that has a higher trade-off or costs.
Basically, game theory is about a shareholder’s or owner’s equity maximization and costs minimization. Like linear programming, it is one of the investment decision-making techniques that dictate investor rationality.
Game theory of social behavior, like corruption, is an extension of the usual game theory in operation research. It takes any political space as a game space in which the players are politicians, public leaders, and citizens.
In Kenya, ethnic nationalism is one of the game variables. In this case, corruption can be mathematically proven to be a rational course of action. Averagely, it is a disillusionment that, no act of corruption can be done without a cognitive excellence in search of maximizing personal benefit and minimization of benefits in the camp of otherness.
Research by American political adviser Mark McKinnon that observed corruption in Silicon Valley shows that the act of corruption is either to be deduced as rational irrationality or to be deducted as irrational rationality.