Corruption Is Top Indicator for Political Unrest, Study Says

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Corruption is a leading indicator for political instability, and 64

countries where fraud and bribery are widespread risk falling into

violent upheaval,a global think tank said in a new report.

While anti-corruption researchers long have noted the corrosive power

of corruption, its political impact has never before been measured


By examining the linkage between corruption measures and peaceful

societies, the research by theInstitute for Economics and Peace

(IEP)in Sydney finds strong statistical evidence that high and rising

levels of corruption can undermine security, and that only small

increases can cause civil unrest.

"The most striking aspect of this relationship is that there is a

tipping point," Aubrey Fox, U.S. executive director for the

Australia-based group, said in an interview.

"This is enormously important for countries, becauseif you can,

through incremental efforts, knock corruption below that tipping point

and control it, you can avert the most difficult consequences."

The findings come as world leaders consider including targets for

battling corruption aspart of the new U.N. development goals for

adoption in September.

The IEP examined trends in peace and corruption over the past 15 years

by looking at Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions

Index (CPI), the World Bank's Control of Corruption measure, and its

own Global Peace Index.

It found that when a country's CPI score is less than 40 on a scale of

0 (highly corrupt) to 100 (veryclean), it has reached a threshold for

collapse of government institutions and a rise in internal violence.

From this tipping point, small increases in corruption can trigger

large declines in peace, as measured by the Global Peace Index. High

levels of corruption in the police and judiciary are critical factors

for undermining social cohesion, IEP said.

Over the last seven years, IEP said the indices show the world has

become slightly less peaceful and that corruption has increased,

particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa.

Countries at the tipping point, it said, include Greece, where

political corruption has led to a debt crisis and social unrest;

Liberia, which was recovering from civil war when the Ebola epidemic

hit last year; and Iran.

However, gains in building a peaceful society do not show any

statistical linkage to lower levels of corruption, indicating how

persistent and challenging is the job of tackling fraud, bribery and

abuse of power, IEP said.

Credit: Reuters

Kofi Oppong Kyekyeku

I am a Ghanaian Broadcast Journalist/Writer who has an interest in General News, Sports, Entertainment, Health, Lifestyle and many more.

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