New Publication, Understanding Social Norms: A Reference Guide for Policy and Practice

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Understanding Social Norms: A Reference Guide for Policy and Practice

By Cheyanne Scharbatke-Church and Diana Chigas


About the Reference Guide

A product of the Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Project, this Reference Guide is a comprehensive exploration of the role social norms play in endemic corruption in fragile states.

The Guide provides practical guidance on what social norms are
Social norms are the mutual expectations held by members of a group about the right way to behave in a particular situation.
<The Guide explains why they should matter to anyone working to diminish corruption in fragile and conflict-affected states
Even if all the other aspects of a robust integrity system are in place, the system of corruption will endure if the social norms affecting people’s decisions to engage corruption are not addressed. Social norms are often more influential than personal attitudes and even morals when it comes to decisions around how to act.

The Guide describes how social norms influence corruption in these contexts

People around the word have an innate desire to fit in; this allows the group to exert pressure through social rewards and punishments.

Craig Zelizer

Craig Zelizer

Dr. Craig Zelizer is the Founder of PCDN.global, which connects a global community of changemakers to the tools, community and opportunities to build careers of impact and scale change. He has strong experience in the development sector, academia and social entrepreneurship. From 2005 to 2016 he served as a professor in the Conflict Resolution program at Georgetown University (where he still teaches). He has led trainings, workshops and consultancies in over 20 countries organizations including with USIP, USAID, CRS, Rotary International and others. Craig is a recognized leader in the social sector field. He has received several awards including George Mason’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution’s alumni of the year award and an alumni career achievement award from Central European University. Dr. Zelizer spent two years in Hungary as Fulbright Scholar and was a Boren Fellow in Bosnia. He has published widely on peacebuilding, entrepreneurship, and innovation in higher education.
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