Corruption experiences and attitudes to political, interpersonal, and domestic violence

Robert Gillanders, Lisa van der Werff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


It is understood that corruption can change the incentives to engage in political violence. However, the scope for corruption to change attitudes toward the permissibility of violence has received less attention. Drawing on Moral Foundations Theory, we argue that experiences of corruption in the social environment are likely to shape individual attitudes toward violent behavior. Using Afrobarometer data, we document a statistically significant and sizable relationship between an individual's experience of paying bribes and their attitudes to political, interpersonal, and domestic violence. These relationships are evident, and not significantly different, for men and women and are robust to the inclusion of variables capturing the local incidence of corruption, local norms regarding violence, and a proxy for the local incidence of violence with the community. Corruption is associated with permissive attitudes to violence even after controlling for the perceived legitimacy of the police and courts.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalGovernance: an international journal of policy administration and institutions
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)167-185
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 26.01.2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management


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