The European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building (ERCAS) was established in 2012 at the Hertie School in Berlin. It studies nation-building and corruption from a state-society perspective, with a focus on the interaction between formal and informal institutions, governance regimes, and the transition from particularism to ethical universalism.
ERCAS developed a full-fledged approach to evidence-based anti-corruption starting with its 2011 NORAD-commissioned report Contextual Choices in Fighting Corruption, consisting of:
- A new generation of direct corruption indicators based on measuring state capture and government favoritism in the allocation of resources using big data (see our project Digiwhist)
- A repository of public accountability mechanisms and institutions that we document and test in order to find out what works and what does not, as well as what the enablers of public accountability are (see Europam.eu and our special issue of Crime, Law and Social Change 2017)
- A comprehensive anti-corruption strategy in the evidence-based Public Integrity Index. It is the first of its kind to offer an instrument which can assess a nation’s capacity to control corruption and can be used for to initiate reforms and assessments of progress across multiple countries and years.
ERCAS also provides policy advice to governments, development agencies and the European Union regarding the implementation of policies and programmes to achieve measurable impact and effectiveness in building states which are impartial, fair and value infrastructural power.
ERCAS is chaired by Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, PhD, a Professor of Democracy Studies at the Hertie School. She teaches a variety of classes on good governance as part of the MPP, MIA, PhD and EMPA programs at the Hertie School. Around 80 students per year enroll in such classes.