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To Bribe or to Bomb: Do Corruption and Terrorism Go Together?


To Bribe or to Bomb: Do Corruption and Terrorism Go Together?

Abstract: 

Colombia consistently ranks as one of the more corrupt countries in the world; it ranked 3.8 out of 10 on the 2008 Corruption Perception Index.  Incidentally, Colombia has suffered decades of terrorist attacks conducted by one of the most enduring terrorist groups in the world- the Fuerzas Armadas Revolutionarias de Colombia (FARC),  Conventional wisdom suggests, and U.S. policy subscribes to the belief, that corruption and terrorism coexist in a mutually reinforcing relationship.  Such a conclusion seems intuitive given conditions in Colombia and elsewhere, where corruption and terrorism seem to coincide.  This relationship, however, has always been a matter of speculation; it has not yet been systematically assessed.  This chapter explores the connection between corruption and terrorism to determine whether and how corruption increases terrorist activity.

Publication Information

Full Citation: 

Chenoweth, Erica, and Jessica C. Teets. 2009. To Bribe or to Bomb: Do Corruption and Terrorism Go Together? Washington, DC:Brookings Institution Press.

START Author(s): 
Erica Chenoweth