The Corruption in Fragile States Blog

The Corruption in Fragile States Blog fosters conversation about the effectiveness of anti-corruption initiatives among practitioners, academics, and policymakers working in the context of endemic corruption.

As an arm of the Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Program, the Blog challenges conventional thinking and takes a deep dive into critical issues in the field, such as systems-based approaches to corruption, social norms, gender, and research methods. Featuring guest posts from leading experts, practitioners, and our own team, topics range from quick-bite summaries of new research findings from Iraq to Uganda, to provocative thought pieces intended to challenge dominant paradigms and practices. 

We invite you to explore our work and join the conversation. Leave a comment on a post or contact us with an idea for a new post – we’d love to hear from you.

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What Can We Learn About Corruption in Fragile States?
Reparations for Corruption: How Corruption Enforcement Ignores Victims’ Rights

Reparations for Corruption: How Corruption Enforcement Ignores Victims’ Rights

The right to reparation is a basic legal principle and a keystone of social coexistence: what gets broken through human intervention needs to be repaired. So why is it not common practice in cases of corruption? Read Dr Olaya Garcia’s take on it. …
Why You Should be Using Social Media to Change Corrupt Behaviors

Why You Should be Using Social Media to Change Corrupt Behaviors

Top-down, structural approaches are only one way to address corruption, but it ignores a critical element of the problem: the behaviors of those who engage in corruption. Social and behavior change (SBCC) offers a new way of thinking about this element. …
What You Must Know to Differentiate Norms from What’s Normal

What You Must Know to Differentiate Norms from What’s Normal

Are all ‘normal’ behaviors social norms driven? CJL Co-Directors disentangle three common mistakes and points of confusion they observe from people who are new to social norms. …
Corruption: Is the Law Blindsiding a More Meaningful Discourse?

Corruption: Is the Law Blindsiding a More Meaningful Discourse?

When did the law and the legal profession start to dominate the international discourse on corruption – focusing on the supply-side and ignoring the reasons why corruption may occur in some contexts? The better route is more dialogue and teamwork across disciplines. …
Everything You Need to Know about Social Norms and Corruption

Everything You Need to Know about Social Norms and Corruption

Did you know social norms can act as a brake to sustainable behavior change? That there’s a body of research on how social norms influence behavior? We didn’t either – until now. Read our new Social Norms Reference Guide to see what we’ve learned. …
Fighting Organized Crime: What Works in Law Enforcement and Beyond

Fighting Organized Crime: What Works in Law Enforcement and Beyond

By Phyllis Dininio. Transnational organized crime has expanded dramatically in size and scope in the 21st century and now poses threats to security, politics, commerce and communities. Countering it effectively is not just a job for law enforcement. Policymakers and practitioners need to pull their weight to enable effective responses. This blog post offers a snapshot of what works to counter transnational organized crime based on expert remarks presented at a series of USAID-hosted roundtable discussions on rule of law and organized crime. …
Top Three Challenges and Good Practices in Anti-Corruption

Top Three Challenges and Good Practices in Anti-Corruption

CJL Co-Directors answer the question: what are the three main challenges in fragile and conflict affected states and developing countries. Read more on these challenges, as well as “good practices” for addressing them. …
The Cinderella of the Sensitivity Fields: Why Corruption Mainstreaming Has Been Ignored in Development Programming

The Cinderella of the Sensitivity Fields: Why Corruption Mainstreaming Has Been Ignored in Development Programming

By Hope Schaitkin. Research tells us that that corruption-mainstreaming amplifies the impact of our development programming, and helps us avoid unwittingly contributing to or encouraging corrupt behavior. But why hasn’t corruption-mainstreaming gained the same ground as conflict sensitivity or gender within development organizations and programming? Read on to learn about three entry points for mainstreaming corruption in your organization’s development programming – from the perspective of a young development professional. …
Broad Anti-Corruption Programs Are the Wrong Approach

Broad Anti-Corruption Programs Are the Wrong Approach

By Mark Pyman. In countries enduring high levels of corruption, whether related to conflict or instability, it is easy to see endemic corruption as something overarching, requiring similarly broad reform strategies. However, my experience in Afghanistan suggests the opposite; anti-corruption strategies need to be tailored to the specific enablers and drivers of each particular sector. …