According to Transparency International's 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, the continued failure of most countries to significantly control corruption is contributing to a crisis of democracy around the world.
"Corruption is much more likely to flourish where democratic foundations are weak and, as we have seen in many countries, where undemocratic and populist politicians can use it to their advantage,” says Delia Ferreira Rubio, chair, Transparency International.
The 2018 CPI draws on 13 surveys and expert assessments to measure public sector corruption in 180 countries and territories.
Cross-analysis with global democracy data reveals a link between corruption and the health of democracies. Full democracies score an average of 75 on the CPI; flawed democracies score an average of 49; hybrid regimes – which show elements of autocratic tendencies – score 35; autocratic regimes perform worst, with an average score of just 30 on the CPI.
To make real progress against corruption and strengthen democracy around the world, Transparency International calls on all governments to:
- strengthen the institutions responsible for maintaining checks and balances over political power, and ensure their ability to operate without intimidation;
- close the implementation gap between anti-corruption legislation, practice and enforcement;
- support civil society organizations which enhance political engagement and public oversight over government spending, particularly at the local level;
- support a free and independent media, and ensure the safety of journalists and their ability to work without intimidation or harassment.