Last updated: 9 december, 2010 - 11:28 GMT


Extremes of Corruption

click Extreme World is a new season of coverage on TV, radio and online, examining the global differences that divide us.

Over the next few months the BBC will be exploring eight key themes that illustrate the contrasts in our extreme world.

They include click Hot and Cold, click Corruption, click Dying, click Crime, click Education, click Business, click Pollution and click God.


Corruption is a problem that exists all over the world.

In some countries it persists in all forms in everyday life from top to bottom and in others it is only in certain sections and hidden from the general population but very few places, if any, are totally free from it.

Sweden and Somalia routinely occupy the opposite ends of the corruption league tables.

In this two-part series, Pascale Harter examines corruption in both countries.

Part One - Sweden

Swedish houses

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Earlier this year the watchdog Transparency International ranked Sweden second, after Denmark, out of 178 countries for their record for honesty in its public sector.

The country is a wealthy one and apparently has high ethical standards.

There is a tradition of openess, and the people have a reputation for being decent and caring.

However, with whisperings of murky deals in the trade of Swedish-manufactured jets, and some questions raised about how Ikea was able to expand so rapidly into Russia, is this squeaky clean reputation deserved?

First broadcast on 8 December, 2010.

Part Two - Somalia

A Somalian pirate looks out to sea

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Can corruption be avoided in such a failed state?

Organisations such as the UN are doing a difficult job in a dangerous place.

Somalia's biggest business is humanitarian aid. The sums of money involved amount to $400 million a year.

In a world of starvation, danger, conflict, warlords and power-broking contractors, is it any wonder that the country is so corrupt?

How do monitoring groups in Somalia even begin to unravel corruption?

First broadcast on 9 December, 2010.


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