Review: Citizens fighting corruption

Curtailing Corruption: People Power for Accountability and Justice Shaazka Beyerle, Lynne Rienner Publishers, £18.95

The World Today Updated 4 March 2021 Published 1 August 2014 2 minute READ

Joy Saunders

Chief Operating Officer, Integrity Action. She also sits as the civil society representative for the OECD Anti-Corruption Task Team

Citizen-led, anti-corruption initiatives are a relatively new field but one of great interest to development experts. In this book, Shaazka Beyerle, a senior adviser at the Washington-based International Centre on Non-Violent Conflict, documents 12 cases of non-violent movements that have focused on fighting corruption, demanding accountability or regaining lost rights. The results include electoral and police reform in Brazil, Korea and Uganda, improved roads and schools in Afghanistan and a reduction in support for the Mafia in Italy.

Overall, the research concludes that corruption affecting everyday people – defined by the author as ‘graft and abuse’ – can be restrained when citizens join forces and seek information and establish accountability through participatory democracy.

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