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Global geographies of corruption

Abstract

Corruption is extremely common throughout the world, with debilitating consequences for economies and societies. Corruption creates and accentuates inequality and inefficiency in the delivery of public services, encourages the pillage of natural resources, and creates widespread distrust of the state among the public. This paper examines the global geography of corruption using data from Transparency International. It defines corruption and its multiple forms. Next it addresses the causes and consequences. Third it provides an overview of the spatiality of corruption and its correlations with national wealth, literacy, inequality, and freedom of the media. It then proceeds to discuss corruption in different countries grouped by five major categories of severity. The conclusion discusses the failure of anti-corruption campaigns and hints at possible remedies.

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Acknowledgement

The author thanks several anonymous reviewers for their helpful criticisms and suggestions.

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Correspondence to Barney Warf.

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Warf, B. Global geographies of corruption. GeoJournal 81, 657–669 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10708-015-9656-0

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Keywords

  • Corruption
  • Governance
  • Transparency