Global Consensus Against Corruption

Book cover

Since the 1990s, many international and regional groups have adopted international treaties, protocols, and other documents to address corruption. My book is guided by a simple question: What explains the similarities and differences between international anti-corruption agreements?

I compare the contents and legal design of agreements, finding evidence of communication and copy-and-paste between cases. But diffusion processes did not lead to uniform results. I argue that agreements serve as signals of commitment to fight corruption at home and through international cooperation. The scope of issues covered and the degree of legal obligation depend on who the audience is: domestic constituents, other member states of the same group, or development partners. In addition to a comparative analysis of agreements across the globe, the book contains two case studies on the Organization of American States and the African Union.

Order the book from Routledge, access the e-book via Taylor & Francis, or order anywhere else (ISBN 9781138588509, DOI 10.4324/9780429492235).

Table of contents

  • Introduction [PDF download]
  • The argument: Diffusion and signaling motives
  • International anti-corruption agreements in comparison
  • Organization of American States: Activist governments and domestic reference models
  • African Union: Development cooperation, non-state actors, and external reference models
  • Conclusion: Lessons to draw from the global patchwork

Online appendix

I compare the scope and legal design of anti-corruption agreements adopted by nine international and regional organizations: The Organization of American States (OAS), the Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the Council of Europe (COE), the European Union (EU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), and the League of Arab States (LAS).

Chapter 2 contains the core of the comparative analysis – a thorough mapping of substantive anti-corruption provisions in those documents plus an account of how many provisions are verbatim copies (or very similar). The high frequency of copy-and-paste across cases suggests that international anti-corruption agreements were shaped by diffusion processes. For the sake of transparency, I have summarized the key anti-corruption provisions in all documents under investigation, indicating those that I counted as similar. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions!

Download the online appendix (PDF)