The COVID-19 pandemic has already brought about numerous changes to our world and lives. However, the changes may be even more consequential in the aftermath, when the pandemic has subsided. We may never return to the world we left behind before COVID, which would have vast implications for anti-corruption, governance and development.

Given the gravity and speed of the political, economic and social changes that we may see in the aftermath of COVID-19, it is vital to take a step back to reflect on the impact of these trends. The purpose of this reflection is less to predict the future and more to consider different potential outcomes on key topics and to identify opportunities for course-correction in the short and long term. This reflection may also serve as the basis for scenario planning or forward-looking strategic thinking, although by itself it does not fulfil either of these functions. As the world faces unprecedented challenges and opportunities, the arguments for any critical reflection have to rely on assumptions and hypothetical considerations, and where possible on any evidence from the past and present.


  1. Executive summary
  2. Civil and political rights
  3. Institutional checks and balances
  4. State capacity
  5. The economy
  6. Poverty and inequality
  7. Social cohesion and interpersonal trust
  8. Information landscapes
  9. Big tech companies and other non-state actors
  10. Illicit financial flows
  11. International affairs and globalisation
  12. Conclusion


Marie Chêne, Jorum Duri, Adriana Fraiha Granjo, Matthew Jenkins, Aram Khaghaghordyan, Roberto Kukutschka, Maíra Martini, Kaunain Rahman, Jonathan Rougier, Nieves Zúñiga, Jon Vrushi




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