The European Research Centre for Anti-Corruption and State-Building was established at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin in 2012. It studies state-building and corruption from a state-society perspective, with a focus on the interplay of formal and informal institutions, governance regimes, and the transition from particularism to ethical universalism.
ERCAS has developed a full fledged approach to evidence based anticorruption starting with its 2011 NORAD commissioned report Contextual Choices in Fighting Corruption, consisting in:
- A new generation of direct corruption indicators based on measuring particular allocation, in other words government favoritism in the allocation of public resources. Our current project Digiwhist and the 17 million open data tender information from 35 jurisdictions (EU plus) show our theory grounded indicators and our big data approach.
- A repository of public accountability mechanisms and institutions that we document and test in order to find out what works and what does not, and what are the enablers of public accountability. See Europam.eu and our special issue from Crime, law and social change 2017 to see both the public data we gathered and the uses of it for research and policy evaluation.
- A comprehensive anticorruption strategy approach in the evidence based Index for Public Integrity, the first to offer a transparent instrument assessing a nation’s capacity to control corruption which can be used for reform and assessment of progress across countries and years.
ERCAS works on a variety of projects in collaboration with different donors and clients.
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.
ERCAS has many partners both in Europe and globally and is embedded in the Civil Society against Corruption network. The network was founded in 2007 by the Romanian Academic Society (SAR) and grew gradually from a Balkan centred to a wider European network.
ERCAS is chaired by Prof. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi, PhD who is Professor of Democracy Studies n at the Hertie School of Governance. She teaches the ERCAS approach to the understanding of corruption and the development of anti-corruption policies in related seminars taught as part of the MPP, MIA and EMPA programs at the Hertie School.