Thursday, December 09, 2010

After the Conflict: Nation- Building and Corruption

I quote the summary of the report:
Globally, there are 26 ongoing armed conflicts and nearly one sixth
of the world’s population lives in so-called ‘weak governance’ zones.1 In 2009 alone, the United Nations estimated that 42 million people were displaced due to conflict and persecution.
The scale and scope of the challenge to end violence and rebuild countries cannot be underestimated. Corruption poses a unique set of obstacles to reconstruction and recovery in countries suffering the aftermath of violent conflict, whether internally or externally sparked. 
In a post-conflict context, corruption undermines state legitimacy and can undo the process of reconciliation, leading to a return to violence. The manifestations of corruption are various and may be perceived differently in different countries depending on the local norms and rules about corruption. 
Yet there is one common lesson on corruption that applies to all post-conflict countries: tolerating corruption erodes the prospects for sustainable stability and nation-building. Corruption destroys the idea that there can be a fair power sharing agreement, collective peace and trust.
In general, conflict is very bad for development, and donor agencies are faced with the rock of people in great need and the hard place that their efforts to help will probably be diluted by corruption and partially reversed by future problems.

Specifically, our expectations for post conflict conditions in Iraq and Afghanistan should be modest and conditioned by experience in other post conflict situations around the world.

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