The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity: How Corruption Control Makes Government Ineffective / Edition 1

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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. By 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.

"Anechiarico and Jacobs . . . have pushed aside the claims and posturing by officials and reformers and revealed a critical need to reevaluate just what we have and are doing to public servants, and to the public, in the name of anti-corruption."—Citylaw

"A timely and very useful addition to the new debate over corruption and reform."—Michael Johnston, American Political Science Review

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Editorial Reviews

A controversial study of anticorruption efforts using New York City as an example, showing how regulations and mechanisms designed to prevent or root out corruption seriously undermine public officials' ability to govern. Of interest to scholars in political science, sociology, public administration, policy studies, and criminology. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
Michael Johnston
No one much likes corruption, and calls for reform are politically popular. But the cures can be worse that the problem itself; at the very least, reformers ought to be aware of the difficulties they can create as they pursue the impossible goal of totally honest government. Frank Anechiarico and James Jacobs make these points effectively in this book, a timely and very useful addition to the new debate over corruption and reform.
American Political Science Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226020518
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1996
  • Series: Studies in Crime and Justice Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1: The Evolution of Corruption: From "Honest Graft" to Conflicts of Interest
2: The Evolution of the Anticorruption Project: From Virtue to Surveillance
3: Civil Service and the Anticorruption Project: Bondage to a Principle
4: Conflicts of Interest and Financial Disclosures: The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity
5: Whistleblowers: Uncovering Wrongdoing at Any Price
6: Internal Government Investigation: The Panopticon in New York City
7: State and Federal Prosecutors: Putting Public Officials on Ice
8: Purging Corruption from Public Contracting: Blacklists, Debarments, and the Paralysis of Procurement
9: Auditing and Accounting Controls: Beyond Bean Counting
10: Waging War Against the Inevitable
11: Public Administration: From Reform to Pathology
12: Toward a New Discourse on Corruption Control
Table of Cases

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