Handbook on the Economics of Conflict
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Handbook on the Economics of Conflict

Edited by Derek L. Braddon and Keith Hartley

The Handbook on the Economics of Conflict conveys how economics can contribute to the understanding of conflict in its various dimensions embracing world wars, regional conflicts, terrorism and the role of peacekeeping in conflict prevention.
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Chapter 8: Conflict and Corruption

John R. Hudson


John R. Hudson 8.1 INTRODUCTION Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon (Rose-Ackerman, 1999). It exists in every modern state and probably always has done. It also exists in most organizations above a certain size. It is not something which exists somewhere else and relates to other people; it affects most of us. For most of Western Europe and North America the scale of corruption is small and for most countries in this region the problems are again contained and the harm corruption can do is limited. But for many countries this is not the case: corruption is a fact of everyday life and is strangling the development of these countries. Conflict too is a worldwide phenomenon. There are few regions of the world where conflict has been totally absent since 1980 and very few countries without a military involved with conflict or attempted conflict resolution. This does not imply, of course, that the two are interrelated. But the evidence I will present is that they are. Both are multifaceted concepts, but internal and external conflict link in with both high- and low-level corruption. Conflict provides opportunities for corruption, and corruption reduces the ability of the state to resolve conflict and can also provide a spur to conflict in, for example, leading the disaffected to revolt. There are many definitions of corruption. Klitgaard (1988, p. 23) defines it with reference to action that ‘deviates from the formal duties of a public role because of private-regarding (personal, close family, private clique) pecuniary or...

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