chapter  3
16 Pages

Corruption and government


Some organisations have conflated the varieties of corruption into a single index number for each country. These indices capture the overall scale of the problem but are not much help in directing reform efforts to the most vulnerable sectors in post-conflict settings. First, such countries are not usually included in the indices, and even if they are, a country’s ranking before and during the conflict may not be relevant to the new peacetime government. Second, the indices are merely general impressions of the level of corruption that tell one nothing about where it is most pervasive and harmful. Nevertheless, these data do help to document the broad consequences and causes of corruption understood as a proxy for dysfunctional state/society relations built on illicit payoffs and favouritism. I summarise some of that work below before suggesting particular directions for reform in post-conflict states.