The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity: How Corruption Control Makes Government Ineffective

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University of Chicago Press, 1996 M12 15 - 274 pages
Anticorruption reforms provide excellent political cover for public officials, but do they really reduce corruption? And do the benefits outweigh the costs? In this comprehensive and controversial case study of anticorruption efforts, Frank Anechiarico and James B. Jacobs show how the proliferating regulations and oversight mechanisms designed to prevent or root out corruption seriously undermine our ability to govern. Using anticorruption efforts in New York City to illustrate their argument, Anechiarico and Jacobs demonstrate the costly inefficiencies of pursuing absolute integrity. By proliferating dysfunctions, constraining decision makers' discretion, shaping priorities, and causing delays, corruption control - no less than corruption itself - has contributed to the contemporary crisis in public administration. This book begins a new and vital discourse on how to free public administration from burdensome corruption controls without sacrificing government integrity. It will interest scholars in political science, sociology, public administration, policy studies, and criminology.
 

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Contents

From Honest Graft
3
Bondage to a Principle
31
The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity
45
Uncovering Wrongdoing at Any Price
63
Blacklists
123
Beyond
139
Waging War Against the Inevitable
153
From Reform to Pathology
173
Toward a New Discourse on Corruption Control
189
Notes
209
Bibliography
247
Table of Cases
267
Copyright

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About the author (1996)

Frank Anechiarico is the Maynard-Knox Professor of Government and Law at Hamilton College.

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