Anti-Corruption Agencies: Between Empowerment and Irrelevance
Title: Anti-Corruption Agencies: Between Empowerment and Irrelevance
Author: DE SOUSA, Luís
Series/Report no.: EUI RSCAS; 2009/08
One distinctive feature of the anti-corruption activity of the 1990s is the rise of new players, such as specialized anti-corruption bodies. Anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) are public bodies of a durable nature, with a specific mission to fight corruption and reducing the opportunity structures propitious for its occurrence in society through preventive and/or repressive measures. Independently of their format and powers, ACAs encounter various constraints to their mandate, which explains the meagre results obtained by some of them: difficulties (technical, statutory or cultural) in unveiling corruption via complaints; difficulties in obtaining information about corruption and its opportunity structures from other state bodies/agencies; and difficulties in establishing a good working relationship with the political sphere. The burgeoning literature on corruption suggests that the most important issues are the incidence of the phenomenon itself (causes, contexts, processes and effects). Instead, this article argues that anti-corruption activity should now be regarded as an important object of study in its own right. The purpose of this paper is to understand the rise, future, and implications of this new kind of "integrity warriors" and to locate them in the evolving doctrine of corruption control.
Subject: Anti-Corruption Agencies; Corruption Control; Institutional Innovation; Institutional Isomorphism; Institutional Performance
Type of Access: openAccess