The Correlates of Conflict: Attitudes, Norms, Ccrruption, and Upheaval

Prof. Frank Rusciano

The panel description notes a relationship between corruption and conflict in societies--the higher the level of corruption, the greater the tendency toward internal and external conflict. But a question arises concerning the role citizens' attitudes and norms play in this relationship. Does corruption correlate with a decline in institutional trust that leads to conflict? Does it correlate with other attitudes or norms that are likely to lead to conflict? Or is it some combination of the two? This paper explores these and other questions using the most recent World Values Study (2012) and the International Social Survey (2012) for survey data, and the Global Peace Index designed by the Institute for Economics and Peace to provide the standard measure. My goal here is to discover attitudes that correlate with lower levels of peace in a country and to test whether these attitudes had a relationship to those condemned by international institutions, such as the United Nations. The results suggest that more tolerant attitudes towards women’s and gay rights, and lower levels of corruption are all related to higher degrees of peacefulness in their respective countries. This paper will go further in discovering the specific relationships that these different variables and others have to each other, in order to elaborate how and why more corrupt nations tend to be less peaceful.