Peace and Corruption Report

Peace and Corruption, the latest report from the Institute for Economics and Peace, deepens the understanding of corruption as one of the key factors that constrains economic development and peace.

The analysis shows that there is a statistically significant link between peace and corruption. Looking at the data over time we can see that globally the world is becoming more corrupt and less peaceful.

Download the Peace and Corruption Report

Key research highlights include:

Corruption has a transformative impact on peace

An increase in corruption leads to a decrease in peace, however changes to peace does not necessarily influence levels of corruption in the short term.

Efforts made at tackling corruption are critically important for building sustainable peace and resilience.

Corruption can act as a barrier to peace, and how it must first be overcome in order to build a more peaceful future.

There is a tipping point for peace and corruption

Once a country reaches a certain level of corruption there is a tipping point at which small increases in corruption lead to large decreases in peace. In other words, corruption becomes so endemic that the likelihood of violence greatly increases. The Peace and Corruption Report has identified 64 countries that are near the tipping point. 

Governance impacts on peace and corruption

In assessing government types it is evident that countries with strong democratic institutions tend to be the most peaceful and the least corrupt. Countries that are near or below the tipping point tend to be flawed democracies, authoritarian or hybrid regimes.

Institutional corruption and violence

The two institutions that have the most impact on levels of peace are the police and the judiciary. These institutions underpin the rule of law in a country, high levels of corruption within them can lead to a breakdown of the legal framework, as well as formal and informal codes of conduct, leading directly to an increase in the likelihood of crime and violence.

Methodology and definitions

Corruption is commonly understood as the ‘abuse of entrusted power for private gain’, and includes acts such as bribery, fraud, extortion, embezzlement and kickbacks. The exact boundaries of what constitutes corruption can be somewhat blurred. Corruption is not necessarily overt and petty, it can also be systematic. For more on the definition of corruption and how it is measured, explore the methodology of the peace and corruption report.

Peace is a multidimensional phenomenon and can be understood through two key concepts: negative peace and positive peace. Negative peace is the absence of violence or the fear of violence. Positive peace is the attitudes, structures and institutions that underpin and sustain peaceful societies. The Global Peace Index, which measures negative peace, and the Positive Peace Index, which self-evidently measures positive peace, were used in this report.

For more on the methodology, or to explore the key findings in detail, download the Peace and Corruption Report.

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