For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds. Shakespeare, Sonnet 94.
Contemporary conflicts are complex, and corruption enables, reflects and results from this complexity. War economies are built on corruption as the parties in conflict rely on criminal syndicates, fraud and bribery to grease the wheels of the supply chain for everything from weapons to timber. Many rebel groups would not be able to operate at all, were it not for the international black market. They are not alone. In the post-war environment, even where state institutions remain intact, the â€˜fog of warâ€™ and its aftermath provides cover for private profiteering from those who should be leading the reconstruction effort. Peace agreements can make winners out of the same traffickers and warlords who used the conflict as a profit-generating event. Conversely, ordinary citizensâ€™ lives are made even more difficult when corruption prevents them from participating in the economy, enjoying their basic rights and securing their property and families.
As conflicts are riddled with corruption, peacebuilding1 work should be appropriately riddled with anti-corruption efforts. This issue of New Routes, Pilfering the peace: The nexus between corruption and peacebuilding, is intended to contribute to the conversation between these two fields…. more