We spoke to 21,861 people in 16 countries, regions and territories across the Asia Pacific region about their perceptions and experiences of corruption.
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Europe has seen a surge in recent years of support for populist and nationalist movements – from Spain to the UK to Turkey. The reasons are manifold and complex, but are driven to a large degree by the belief that traditional democratic institutions – governments, political parties – are failing to deliver on promises of prosperity and equal opportunity and that they cannot be trusted. Corruption is central to this story – both the failure of governments to properly address corruption and their complicity in corrupt or clientelist schemes. It has become impossible to ignore systemic corruption in the way business influences politics, as shown by the on-going trial of 37 executives and politicians in Spain who are alleged to have been involved in a “kickbacks-for-contracts” scheme for nearly a decade.ii Examples such as this can give ordinary citizens the impression that public spending and public policy is distorted to favour the few over the many.