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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
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