Dr. Ulrike Hopp-Nishanka

Dr. Ulrike Hopp-Nishanka has been working on conflict transformation and peacebuilding for 20 years as practitioner, researcher, lecturer as well as Deputy Head of Division at Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), most recently focusing on inclusive peacebuilding, recovery and reconstruction in the MENA region as well as Afghanistan.

From 2005 to 2012, Ulrike was Deputy Director of the Sri Lanka Project of the Berghof Foundation and supported the Mediation and Peace Infrastructure Programme. Ulrike helped shape the concept of Infrastructures for Peace and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Hamburg, investigating the role of the peace secretariats in Sri Lanka’s peace process and their contribution to conflict transformation.

During the time of writing, Ulrike was on leave from BMZ and consulting for a variety of aid agencies and peacebuilding actors with a focus on the political economy of reconstruction and peacebuilding as well as inclusive peace processes. Since October 2021, she is part of BMZ's Afghanistan team again.

Corruption and Conflict. Breaking the Vicious Circle from a Peacebuilding Perspective

08 November 2021

This publication examines the connections between peacebuilding and the fight against corruption. The author offers suggestions on how peacebuilding can help break the vicious circle between violent conflict, fragility and corruption.

Corruption is both an underlying cause and a driver of conflict. Violent conflict, fragility and corruption can be considered a vicious circle. We argue that peacebuilding and conflict prevention need to pay more attention to corruption and join forces with actors promoting transparency, accountability and good governance. Peacebuilding can contribute with its vast array of approaches and methods of analysis and reflection, supporting cohesion and coalition building, dialogue facilitation and visioning as well as transformation to the fight for accountability. This paper will suggest eight potential entry points for further discussion.

This background paper has been prepared for the FriEnt Peacebuilding Forum 2021 and a dedicated session on conflict and corruption. This session builds on previous discussions at two IACC conferences as well as on a dedicated conference on anti-corruption in fragile states. In December 2019, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Transparency International Germany, the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre and GIZ hosted an international conference which brought together anticorruption activists and peacebuilders. Participants called for closer collaboration amongst both groups to improve mutual understanding and learning, as well as for a comprehensive, whole-of-government approach. Minutes of the BMZ Conference can be found here. With this paper, we are following this call. It explores the interlinkages between corruption and conflict from a peacebuilder’s perspective and suggests how the peacebuilding community can contribute
to addressing the vicious circle.

The Working Group on Peace and Development (FriEnt) is an association of governmental organisations, church development agencies, civil society networks, and political foundations.


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