U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre

This Anti-Corruption Helpdesk brief was produced in response to a query from a U4 Partner Agency. The U4 Helpdesk is operated by Transparency International in collaboration with the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre based at the Chr. Michelsen Institute.


Can you please provide a reading list or review of literature on corruption and fragile states, looking at the relationship between corruption and conflict, and corruption and legitimacy, as well as the effectiveness of anti-corruption interventions?


This will assist the organisation to think through issues around corruption in fragile states, with the aim of sharing analysis and practical lessons across the organisation.


1. Corruption and fragile states
2. Corruption and conflict
3. Corruption and legitimacy
4. Effectiveness of anti-corruption interventions


The list of resources provided is not intended to be exhaustive but to give a snapshot view of the existing research on the relevant topics. There is a lack of data on the effectiveness of anti-corruption interventions.


This paper compiles publicly available articles and academic papers examining corruption in fragile states, with a focus on the relationship between corruption, conflict, and state legitimacy. There is a broad consensus in the literature on the correlation between corruption and fragility; the direction of causality is nevertheless debated. Corruption is generally seen as increasing the level of instability and delegitimizing the state; some studies however argue that corruption can have stabilizing effects in the short term. A number of articles on the effectiveness of anticorruption interventions are also featured but there is only limited available information on interventions in fragile states specifically.


Sofia Wickberg, Transparency International, [email protected]


Marie Chene, Transparency International, [email protected]; Robin Hodess, Transparency International, [email protected]




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