Corruption & Peace

Peace is a complex creature that does not exist purely in its own right. Rather, as research from the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) has shown, the level of peace in a society will be dependent upon a range of cultural, economic, and political factors that influence  the key attitudes, institutions, and structures which underpin peaceful societies.

The level of peace in a society is strongly correlated with the amount of corruption it experiences. 

The relationship between peace and corruption has been found to be among the strongest of these factors. Corruption exists in many forms, and can vary widely between countries and cultures, but generally describes the manipulation of a private or public position by an individual to gain undue personal advantage. Corruption can be petty, such as in cases where public officials demand bribes in return for implementing laws, regulations, and permits, or it can be grand, where high level politicians use embezzlement and clientelism to consolidate support.

No matter what form it takes, however, corruption is always damaging to society, as it undermines public trust in institutions necessary for peacebuilding.  This is particularly true of institutions such as the police forces and the military that are usually the primary guarantors of public security in society. When the rule of law is undermined by a corrupt police and judiciary, public trust and the capacity of the state to enforce basic rules is also undermined.

This is the first in a series of posts about the sticky relationship between peace and corruption. Stay tuned as over the coming weeks we will feature more articles on the peace and corruption data, as well as case studies of specific countries. 

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More than half of people believe the level of corruption in their countries has increased over the past two years, according to Transparency International

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