Book Reviews

Book Review: Corruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuilding


Since the end of the Cold War in the late 20th century, the number of interstate wars has decreased dramatically, while internal conflicts have claimed the main stage. It might be the consequence of secessionist movements in many post-colonial states or the domestic frictions that were largely restrained for the sake of national security during the Cold War, but domestic conflicts have, in most cases, had adverse spillover effects on neighboring states. Thus,the result is that a nation’s internal conflict matters not only within its borders, but also regionally and globally.



UN-mandated peacekeeping operations have so far incorporated many responsibilities to its mandate to stop tragedies from degenerating as well as reoccurring and have adopted new strategies to achieve such aims. Now as peacebuilding, it needs help from a wide array of actors and has to utilize various sorts of policy tools and campaigns at every level of political, economic, and social human interaction. Discussions inCorruption and Post-Conflict Peacebuildingare based on these grounds, and the primary focus of the contributors is the reciprocal relationship between peacebuilding and corruption: how and to what extent can corruption distort peacebuilding efforts, and in what manner can peacebuilding affect corrupt actors and their behaviours?

The volume consists of three parts. The first part attempts to refine the definition of corruption while briefly going over the literature on corruption in post-conflict states, andtoanswer whether corruption hinders peacebuilding, or rather it is peacebuilding measures that provide an environment conducive to corruption. The second part illustrates the relationship between the two in different post-conflict settings using case studies. And the last section discusses the potentials and limits of several anti-corruption measures and suggests ways that could improve their performance in future implementations.

In general, corruption hasmeant the abuse of office and misuse of entrusted power for personal profit. Philp, however, claims that the term ‘abuse’ and ‘misuse’ can be used by different standards across disparate cultures and customs. A broader and perhaps more practical, version of the word’s definition suggested here, applied by other contributors as well, explains it as a public official violating the rules and norms of the office in light of his or her personal, partisan or sectional gain, consequently harming the interest of the public and being rewarded by the beneficiaries in consideration of the illegal access to goods or services provided.

*Published in Journal of Conflict Transformation & Security (JCTS) Vol. 2 | No. 1
© Copyright 2012 by CESRAN

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