Managing the fight against corruption: A case study


  • Robert Klitgaard

    1. Associate Professor of Public Policy, John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Special Assistant to the President, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 02138, USA.
    Search for more papers by this author


Corruption is one of the foremost problems facing policy-makers and managers in developing countries, but it is a remarkably difficult one to study. This case study—an actual episode that has been disguised to preserve confidentiality—provides a vehicle for illustrating both the application of analytical tools to corruption and the importance of practical issues of implementation and politics. The case suggests that anti-corruption policies should carefully assess (1) the relative severity of various kinds of illicit activities, including who gains and loses; (2) the relative susceptibility of the various activities to feasible changes in policies and procedures; and (3) the strategic importance of politics, in the narrow sense of bureaucratic politics as well as the wider political realities.