Contextual Choices in Fighting Corruption: Lessons Learned

Why is it that despite unprecedented investment in anti-corruption in the last fifteen years and the implementation of global monitoring and legislation, so few countries managed to register progress in fighting corruption? This new report commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) to the Hertie School of Governance aims to see what could be learnt from weaknesses in current support to fighting corruption at country level and identify approaches that can be more effective in fighting corruption in different governance contexts.

The report revealed that conceptual flaws, imprecise measurement instruments and inadequate strategies are to blame for the lack of progress in fighting corruption. But it also argues that the quest for public integrity is a political one, between predatory elites in a society and its losers and fought primarily on domestic playgrounds. As such, the donor community can play only a limited part and it needs to play this part strategically in order to create results. Based on new statistical evidence, the report recommends cash-on-delivery/selectivity approaches for anti-corruption assistance. Effective and sustainable policies for good governance need to diminish the political and material resources of corruption and build normative constraints in the form of domestic collective action. Most of the current anti-corruption strategies, on the contrary, focus on increasing legal constraints, which often fail because most interventions are localized in societies that lack the rule of law.

Changing the Rule of the Game: a Diagnosis of Corruption in Brazil

In Brazil, corruption has always been part of political discussions, but changes in government hardly ever brought changes in the political and social structures. The great economic development of recent years might end up covering some of the problems. Therefore, it is fundamental to investigate whether in Brazil corruption is the norm or the exception, as well as to understand the main corruption mechanisms in order to design proper policies to tackle its most harmful forms so that the country can finally evolve towards good governance and impartial government.

Political Economy Analysis of Corruption in Ghana

Ghana on one hand, since its return to democratic rule in 1993, has experienced a continuous growth in consolidating its democracy, leading it to be one of the most referred to success stories of democracy in Africa. On the other hand, corruption continues to be a problem in spite of the several proclaimed measures by governments to curb it. This paper hence seeks to explore the question: has Ghana evolved on the control of corruption? If not, why and what can be done?

Control of Corruption: the Road to Effective Improvement. Lessons from Six Progress Cases

In the last two decades, the emergence of an international good governance agenda has fostered the implementation of anti-corruption efforts in several countries. Nevertheless, recent assessments of those efforts reveal that the vast majority of initiatives have not produced concrete positive results. Only a few countries have made considerable progress in reducing corruption, and there is still limited knowledge about what has determined their positive experiences. This paper attempts to contribute to this discussion by engaging in a comparative analysis of six countries that have improved in terms of control of corruption. These countries are: Uruguay, Estonia, Botswana, Taiwan, South Korea and Ghana. The framework for analysis is based on a model of corruption as a function of power discretion, material resources and legal and normative constraints (Mungiu-Pippidi, 2010). Additionally, particular attention is paid to the role of political agents as drivers of change, with a focus on political leaders, civil society, media and enforcement institutions.

Beyond Good Governance: Performance of the International Anticorruption Institutional Arsenal Put to the Test

With political corruption posing a serious threat to democracy and its consolidation, anticorruption efforts have in recent years shifted from a reduced reliance on political tools to an increased support of the legislative and institutional means. The present thesis, using quantitative cross-sectional models, analyzes the performance of four, highly advocated, institutional transplants. Results suggest that an installment of the Freedom of Information Acts (FOIA) can, in the presence of an active civil society and attentive opposition to the governing structures, significantly decrease levels of corruption in a country.

Aid Selectivity and Anti-Corruption Policy: a Case Study of the Millenium Challenge Corporation

This paper argues that corruption control is the most fundamental component of the good governance agenda, since it subverts all the other values of good governance. It is both cause and effect of inefficient and unaccountable institutions. In developing countries, were resources are scarcer and need to be used in the most effective manner, corruption is especially harmful. In an effort to clarify how this move to a more selective, performance based approach can have an influence in the control of corruption of developing countries and therefore serve as model for other donors to follow, this paper will first discuss the concepts of good governance, development, corruption and review its empirical links to aid effectiveness. It will also show the benefits and limitations of measuring governance and corruption and argue for the development of more broad assessments methods.

Transitions to Good Governance: the Case of El Salvador

El Salvador has changed much in the last 20 years. It has managed to move from a previous military regime and a civil war to a democracy, but this process is still in progress. The country must yet face a number of weaknesses to continue its transition to good governance, particularly regarding the development of an active civil society, a free and impartial press and lower levels of corruption. Assistance from foreign donors will be an important support to future improvements, especially concerning the strengthening of civil society and institutional capacity building to fight corruption more effectively.

Transitions to Good Governance: the Case of Albania

Albania’s progress of development has been hindered by the high rates of corruption. World Bank’s Control of Corruption measurement of 2008 placed Albania in the 25-50 percentile rank and Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) in the same year was 3,2 placing Albania 85th out of 180 countries ranked.  In comparison to its neighbors since 2002 Albania is doing the worst it terms of control of corruption. Albania was doing quite well in 1996 after which it experienced a huge decrease in control of corruption and even though over the years steady positive progress has been made, it hasn’t recovered to the same level yet.

Political Economy Analysis of Control of Corruption in Chile

The analysis of the World Governance Indicator Control of Corruption and Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) shows that Chile has always been a clean country, but one cannot tell how control of corruption developed. In order to understand control of corruption in Chile, one must look at the transition to democracy period, and also at Chile’s history, analyzing the institutions, power distribution, and the rules of the game since the first democratic period until nowadays in order to understand why control of corruption in Chile has always been higher than in other Latin American countries.

Uruguay: a Case of Success in Latin America

According to the World Governance Indicators, there has been an improvement in control of corruption in Uruguay between 1998 and 2008. This political economy analysis will try to explain why. Corruption is a big problem in almost all Latin American countries. What makes Uruguay different?

The Republic of Indonesia: Between a Gecko and a Crocodile

Although corruption continues to be a severe problem in Indonesia, indicators show that Indonesia has greatly improved at curbing corruption over the past decade – more so, in fact, than any other country in all of Asia. Clearly, something remarkable is going on in the country. This paper will focus on the evolution of corruption in the Republic of Indonesia, exploring what factors, including policy indicators, have had the greatest impact in curbing corruption in the country.

Transitions to Good Governance: the Case of Tanzania

This report gives a snapshot of the state of corruption in Tanzania between the years 1998 and 2008. Strong presidents, who have endorsed the fight against corruption, as one of their main presidential goals have been the main drivers of change in Tanzania’s fight against corruption. However, there are many shortcomings that are eminent in Tanzania’s endeavour to fight corruption. Enforcement remains limited and capacity, staff, and resources are lagging. Nonetheless, change in the control of corruption is perceived and real. There are different indicators, one of them being that even “the big fish” have been discharged from major political offices. In 2008, a corruption scandal led to the resignation of the prime minister. These revelations and actual changes demonstrate that corruption is becoming an act that is not tolerated by the population and therefore business – in this case being corruption – cannot be carried out “as usual”.

Transitions to Good Governance: the Case of South Korea

This paper traces the development of corruption and pluralism in South Korea all the way back to independence in 1945. It distinguishes and describes three kinds of transition, namely from the simple agrarian society governed by landlords to a complex industrial one, from the authoritarian rule of Park and Chu to democracy, and the overarching transition to good governance. The study finds progress towards the goal of good governance in the land reform of the 1950s, in the establishment of a meritocratic and effective bureaucracy during the 60s and 70s, through the creation of an autonomous and well-educated middle class till the 80s, and finally the fight against the market domination by the Chaebols following the Asian crisis of 1997. Differing from the general literature on anti-corruption but in line with recent developments in the economics literature the fight for an autonomous state in Korea seems to depend on successful regulation of markets.

Beyond Perception: Has Romania’s Governance Improved since 2004?

Romania and Bulgaria encounter today problems in joining the visa-free Schengen area. The main one in the public eye is corruption. Both countries pledged to improve their rule of law when signing their accession treaties in 2005, yet little progress is perceived by observers or captured with governance measurements relying on perception, such as CPI and World Bank Governance indicators. This paper explores real policy, with fact-based indicators, to trace progress in the area – or lack of it – since 2004 to the present.

The European Neighbourhood Policy – a Reality Check

This paper analyses the impact of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) on good governance in the partner states. The findings of this paper suggest that the influence of the European Neighbourhood Policy in triggering governance reforms has been limited. Since the formal launch of the policy in 2004, both quantitative and qualitative assessments show that improvements have been absent in most of the partner states. Moreover, it is shown that in those states showing signs of progress, domestic rather than EU influence has been the main driving force behind reforms. The paper suggests that incentive structures, monitoring and the involvement of civil society are the most pressing issues that need reconsideration to increase the effectiveness of the European Neighbourhood Policy in promoting governance reforms.

The Experience of Civil Society as an Anti-Corruption Actor in East Central Europe

Why, despite their most remarkable progress on democracy, have most East Central European states retained modest levels of governance? Is civil society still able to play any significant role in improving governance, even after its institutionalization at low levels of participation, after its initial high mobilization in the early years of democratization? Does the impact, or lack of impact, of civil society do anything to explain the quality of governance? This paper addresses all these issues and more.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Ukraine

Ukraine is a country with wide scale and systemic corruption, which makes a crucial influence on the economic, political, social and other spheres of public life. The traditionally low scoring of Ukraine by the Corruption Perception Index of the “Transparency International” is the evidence of this. The plague of corruption has penetrated all levels of government and public institutions, starting from the highest-level public officials. All formal and informal institutions have become used to corruption and adapted to it, including law enforcement agencies.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Slovakia

This paper looks at corruption in Slovakia, the government’s strategy to reduce the levels of corruption and the citizens’ perception of the problem. In addition, it describes what civil society organizations have undertaken to tackle the issue of corruption.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Serbia

How corrupt is Serbia? What type of corruption? How did it evolve during the years? Was it a period when it was more corrupt and what happened to change that? How strong is the civil society in this country? What is its reputation? Are notable anticorruption projects known without research? Are there any anticorruption heroes? What are they? Who are they? This report will present the answers to all these questions and more.

(Anti-)Corruption in Poland since early 2000 to 2010

This report suggests that although corruption is relatively spread-out in Poland, its level is slowly declining. Improved laws and regulations, which are an effect of government, civil society organizations and international community’s activities, as well as continuous monitoring of public life and officials carried out by state organs as well as civic watchdogs have heavily contributed to reshaping the anti-corruption environment in the country. Additionally, media support has drawn public attention to the issue and has helped to raise awareness about (anti) corruption and its effects. Nonetheless, there is still long way to go to uproot the described corruption-inviting behavior and catch up with leaders of the rankings on the least corrupted jurisdictions. The social change is slow to happen and requires continuous effort on part of both government and the NGO sector to ensure sustainability of this evolution.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Lithuania

Although Lithuania has done ostensibly much to fight corruption in the last 20 years and especially since the start of the accession talks with the EU, the actual impact of these anti-corruption measures has been questionable. This is due to the fact that even though a strong and comprehensive anti-corruption law base was established, the country’s law enforcement is very weak. Civil society in Lithuania is also weak and has little influence in policy making, especially when it comes to the field of anti-corruption. Here, Transparency International Lithuanian Chapter is an exceptional case, being the only NGO in Lithuania working exclusively in this field.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Latvia

Latvia stood still in the past two years. As an overall conclusion, the corruption diagnosis identified by a KNAB 2008 report seems still accurate today. Thus, on one side, petty corruption is diminishing and at the same time grand corruption is developing.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Kosovo

How corrupt is Kosovo? What type of corruption? How did it evolve during the years? Was it a period when it was more corrupt and what happened to change that? How strong is the civil society in this country? What is its reputation? Are notable anticorruption projects known without research? Are there any anticorruption heroes? What are they? Who are they? This report will present the answers to all these questions and more.

A Diagnosis of Corruption in Hungary

How corrupt is Hungary? What type of corruption? How did it evolve during the years? Was there a period when it was more corrupted and what happened to change that? What were the civil society responses? Did the political context allow for more anticorruption measures to be enforced? This report answers all these questions and more.

Georgia: Corruption Developments and Anti-Corruption Activities since 1990s

The improvements made in post-Rose Revolution years with regard to the fight against corruption are evident and they brought about concrete results in the country. Nevertheless, everyone agrees that this should not be considered as a reason for reducing the intensity of anti-corruption reforms. On the contrary, further steps should be planned and taken by the state with the aim of combating corruption with the support of the civil society.