Dr. Ulrike Hopp-Nishanka


Joshua Rogers

Calum Humphreys

Breaking the vicious cycle

Entry points for anticorruption in inclusive peace processes. A new publication of Berghof Foundation
30. Mai 2022
Treppenhaus | grillot-edouard-uX4ikaLXYtE | Unsplash

Corruption and violent conflict are interlinked in deep and complex ways. This
U4 Issue considers how corruption as an element of conflict systems could be
addressed during peace processes and how peacebuilders can support political
efforts to curb corruption and promote accountability during transitions from
war to peace. Now is the time to bridge the contributions of peacebuilding and
anti-corruption practitioners in the quest for a sustainable transformation

The authors of the publication emphasise the following main points
  • Approaches towards conflict transformation should be informed by a
    nuanced understanding of the political economy of violent conflict and
    corruption. Corruption as an element of conflict systems should be
    addressed during peace processes to support political efforts to curb
    corruption and promote accountability during the transition toward peace.

  • Although it is rarely possible to eradicate corruption, ignoring it during
    peace processes is not a viable option. Rather, peacebuilders should identify
    ways to reduce corruption’s long-term impact on the inclusivity and
    sustainability of peace process. Such pragmatic approaches should prioritise
    the aspects of corruption that matter most for state legitimacy, trust between
    communities, and trust in institutions.

  • National and international actors should promote inclusivity and
    accountability during negotiations and bargaining over political settlements
    and should not wait for ‘post-conflict’ governance programmes.

  • A systemic approach to integrating corruption and violent conflict can
    highlight the multidimensional and multi-directional linkages and feedback
    loops that inform complex social phenomena such as patronage, point to the
    relevance of social norms and other factors defining the system, and caution
    against technical fixes.

  • Addressing corrupt behaviour in conflict contexts requires a high level of
    political support, resources, and technical expertise. It also requires
    introspection, learning, and space for confidential and constructive dialogue
    among anti-corruption and peacebuilding communities to chart this difficult

  • Efforts towards transparency and integrity as well as conflict transformation
    share important foundations, namely a transformative agenda rooted in
    social justice as well as a conceptual focus on local agency and

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