Global Integrity–Wishful Thinking?

Is the pursuit of global integrity fact, fiction, or fantasy? Is it an off-the-wall idea and ideal? Not everyone thinks so. Indeed, consider the findings just released in the 2011 Global Integrity Report. The Report maps the effort made by 31 countries to build the legal framework for good governance and anti-corruption and the actual implementation or enforcement of a country’s legal framework. The difference between “in-law” and “practice” is defined as the implementation gap. The smallest gaps are recorded by Ireland and Germany which occupy the #1 and #2 spots while the largest gaps are recorded for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Venezuela. The U.S. gap puts it in the #3 slot while China is two spots behind in the #5 slot.

A closer look at the U.S. integrity ranking indicates that while the U.S. has strong anti-corruption safeguards, “the United States has taken a step backward in its struggle to control the corrupting influence of money in politics.” The Report cites the tsunami of money awash in the 2012 presidential campaigns that is the result of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election commission (2010). Does anyone believe this is not so?

A closer look at the integrity indicators for China points to an overall rating of “weak”. The Report notes that while anti-corruption had been considered one of top concerns at the national level there is a big gap between law and practice.

Ireland, you ask–“what’s going on there?” Check out the Report online ( for an answer.

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