Summer 2018

Reforming Reform: Revising the Anticorruption Playbook

Michael Johnston
Michael Johnston takes a bird’s-eye view of the last thirty years of international anticorruption efforts, observing that although increased attention to corruption can only be a positive sign, standard practices for fighting corruption have yielded lackluster results. He questions a number of common suppositions espoused by anticorruption experts, including claims that increasing transparency and creating large anticorruption agencies will always ameliorate the problem. Johnston argues that corruption is best combated indirectly, by developing relationships of accountability between citizens and the government, such as through education and civil society. Johnston thus advocates for a holistic development of citizen engagement, which he calls “deep democratization.”
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