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How Policy Entrepreneurs Reduce Corruption in Israel



This article suggests a new perspective for analyzing anticorruption policies by emphasizing the important role of policy entrepreneurs. We maintain that these entrepreneurs combat corruption in three ways: (1) by initiating attempts to reduce corrupt practices, whether through legislation or judicial decisions; (2) by being recognized as honest brokers for informants and insiders; and (3) by providing reliable information from these sources to promote scandals. Even when they are unsuccessful in getting legislation passed, anticorruption entrepreneurs reduce corruption because they raise the level of scrutiny into corrupt practices. In addition, they foment uncertainty, deterring those considering abusing their power. We test our theoretical framework on several anticorruption entrepreneurs in Israel, demonstrating that their existence increases the potential cost of corruption. By creating networks, sharing information with others, and building reputations of honesty and courage, they encourage those involved in or considering illegal activities to refrain from such actions.