Ortrun Merkle

United Nations University, Graduate School of Governance, Maastricht The Netherlands

Ortrun Merkle
Staff Page: www.merit.unu.edu

The Impact of Corruption on State-Building in Post-Conflict Societies

Limited state capacity plays an integral part in the discussion of conflict onset, duration and outcome, and state-building, and has therefore come to the center of the post-conflict agenda of international organizations and researchers. Yet, many of the mechanisms, which lead to state-building failures and subsequently increase the risk of conflict recurrence, are still understudied. My Thesis will contribute to understanding this dynamic, by analyzing a major risk to state-building, the presence of endemic corruption. While current studies only discuss the overall negative impact, in my thesis I argue that the role of corruption varies largely depending on the dimension of state-building one is discussing.

Considering the large number of international organizations involved in fragile states, all working on different agendas such as corruption, democratization, health etc., I am especially interested in the role of external actors in the state-building process in the context of corruption.

The theoretical part of the thesis will be tested with a case study of Georgia, which as a fragile state with a large inflow of international aid and significantly changing levels of corruption is especially interesting in this context.