FFE Magazine

Government corruption a global disorder

by FFE EU News staff

The presence of a free press has long been an indicator of good governance and development. However, even people from countries with free press believe that government corruption is a global condition.

Research and global consulting company Gallup revealed in their 2012 Global States of Mind report that the majority of the population in 108 out of 129 countries they polled believed that corruption was widespread in their government.

The poll also showed surprising worldwide trends among cultures.

Scandinavians, for example, see their government as relatively free of corruption. Danes and Swedes are also shown to be the least likely to see corruption as a problem in their governments.

Czech Republic and Lithuania meanwhile led the top 10 countries which universally saw government corruption as a problem. In their case, corruption scandals which rocked the respective countries fuelled the levels of corruption perception of adults.

Ghana, South Africa, Costa Rica and South Korea are also among the countries with free press which scored the highest levels of perceived government corruption. Over the years, adults in these countries saw that corruption was becoming more common.

The poll revealed that although the United States did not make the top 10 list, 73% of Americans believed that corruption was persistent in their government.

Georgia and Hong Kong, countries with a partly free press, meanwhile were rated least likely to see corruption in their governments. However, corruption scandals in Hong Kong have slightly increased corruption perceptions through the years.

Georgians, however, saw that instances of corruption in their government dropped within 5 years as the World Bank commended the country’s fight against graft in public services.

In other countries with partly free press, like Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, and Uganda, attitudes towards corruption in government remained consistent through the years. Greece also made it to this list, with 92% saying corruption was pervasive following the debt crisis.

In countries where press is not free, Rwanda and Singapore were rated least likely to say corruption was widespread in their government. The World Bank has lauded both countries for their systematic efforts against graft and corruption. Chad, Cameroon and Honduras meanwhile consistently believed that corruption is commonplace.

In the global scale, it is alarming that Gallup’s data did not show any improvement in perceptions of corruption in the government. However, increased transparency and anti-corruption campaigns may be affecting public awareness of government corruption – improving perceptions in the long-term.

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