A cultural constraints theory of police corruption: understanding the persistence of police corruption in contemporary Indonesia

John W. Buttle, Sharyn Graham Davies, Adrianus E. Meliala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Despite a decade of reform, Indonesia’s police continue to be plagued by systemic corruption. This article examines the reasons for the persistence of police corruption by firstly establishing that corruption is rife and then discuses Indonesian police reform post-Suharto. The international understandings are explored with a view to developing a definition of police corruption that accounts for sociocultural and historical factors in Indonesia. There is an examination of the relevance of international theories of police corruption for Indonesia. It is argued that these theories are only partially applicable to Indonesia and the authors posit the ‘cultural constraints theory of police corruption’, which accounts for invitational, slippery slope, noble cause, and predatory theories, but recognizes the distinct nature of Indonesia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)437-454
Number of pages18
JournalAustralian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • ethical policing
  • Indonesia
  • police corruption
  • police deviance
  • police misconduct

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