Civil Society against Corruption is a social learning platform initiated by the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) in 2007 with the support of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). It grew from a Balkan network to an East European network in 2009, with an evaluation project of civil society actions against corruption developed by SAR and funded by the Open Society Institute, offering an Anti-Corruption Toolbox dedicated to civil society activists against corruption, journalists, and scholars. It acquired an academic dimension in 2012 with the creation of the European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) where anti-corruption initiatives are documented and promoted through a database of projects, impact analyses, and diagnosis reports.
ERCAS is located at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany, and was created as an institution where state-building and corruption are studied from a state-society perspective, with a focus on the interplay of formal and informal institutions, on governance regimes and the transition from particularism to ethical universalism. ERCAS also provides policy advice to governments, development agencies and the European Union towards the implementation of policies and programmes to achieve measurable impact and effectiveness in building states which are impartial, fair and high on infrastructural power.
In addition to the research activities conducted at the centre, its approach to the understanding of corruption and the development of anti-corruption policies is also present in related seminars taught by Prof. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, ERCAS’s director, as part of the Master of Public Policy programme at the Hertie School of Governance. Furthermore, the centre stimulates research on corruption by young academics at the Master and Doctoral level, whose work can be seen in our Working Paper series, together with publications by our research fellows.