Even industrialized countries cannot be complacent
Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) was released yesterday, the only realistic report card available each year on the governments of the world. The CPI measures domestic and public sector corruption and once again highlights how poorly most countries’ governments go about their business and how no region is immune to the perils of corruption, bribery, cartels and other practices which undermine competition and contribute to the diminution of resources. There’s some wonderful interactive visualization multimedia available on this subject which is well worth a look.
The usual suspects headed the list of both the most and least corrupt countries, with the highest scorers in the 2009 CPI being New Zealand at 9.4 (out of 10), Denmark at 9.3, Singapore and Sweden at 9.2 and Switzerland at 9.0. These scores reflect political stability, long-established conflict of interest regulations and solid, functioning public institutions.
Sadly, only 49 of the 180 countries in the 2009 index score five or better, indicating how loosely we use the term civilization. The CPI is a composite index and measures the perceived levels of public sector corruption in a given country, drawing on 13 different expert and business surveys.
Fragile, unstable states that are scarred by war and ongoing conflict linger at the bottom of the index. These are: Somalia, with a score of 1.1, Afghanistan at 1.3, Myanmar at 1.4 and Sudan tied with Iraq at 1.5. These results demonstrate that countries which are perceived as the most corrupt are also those plagued by long-standing conflicts, which have torn apart their governance infrastructure.
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- Corruption watchdog rules Somalia still worst in world (ctv.ca)
- Corruption, country by country. The 2009 Transparency International index in full (guardian.co.uk)
- War-torn nations ‘most corrupt’ (news.bbc.co.uk)
- Afghanistan, Iraq Among the World’s Most Corrupt (abcnews.go.com)
- New Zealand named world’s least corrupt country (telegraph.co.uk)
- Put your best country forward (economist.com)
- U.K. Declines on Corruption Index (online.wsj.com)