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Corruption, Legitimacy, and Stability: Implications for the U.S. Army

Authored by Dr. Shima D. Keene.

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Corruption increases the level of instability and the risk of conflict by undermining the legitimacy and credibility of state institutions. It can be both a cause and effect of poor leadership and governance. States emerging from conflict are particularly vulnerable to corruption, due to the lack of good governance infrastructures; but Western interventions can exacerbate the problem through the unintended consequences of good intentions.

For peacekeeping and state-building interventions to be effective, careful consideration must be given as to the reason the problem occurs, and to its broader impact, as well as ways to manage it. This Letort Paper suggests ways in which these unintended consequences may be mitigated in future peace and stability operations.

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