A consortium of researchers dedicated to improving the understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism

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


Colombia consistently ranks as one of the more corrupt countries in the world; it ranked 3.8 out of 10 on the 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index. Incidentally, Colombia has suffered decades of terrorist attacks conducted by one of the most enduring terrorist groups in the world—the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias 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.

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Full Citation:

Teets, Jessica C. and Erica Chenoweth. 2009. "To Bribe or to Bomb: Do Corruption and Terrorism Go Together?" In Corruption, Global Security, and World Order, ed. Robert I. Rotberg. Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press, 167-193. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt6wpgj4

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