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

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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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Editorial Reviews

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: 9780226020525
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1998
  • Series: Studies in Crime and Justice Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Sales rank: 416,723
  • Product dimensions: 8.90 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

1 The Evolution of Corruption: From "Honest Graft" to Conflicts of Interest 3
2 The Evolution of the Anticorruption Project: From Virtue to Surveillance 18
3 Civil Service and the Anticorruption Project: Bondage to a Principle 31
4 Conflicts of Interest and Financial Disclosures: The Pursuit of Absolute Integrity 45
5 Whistleblowers: Uncovering Wrongdoing at Any Price 63
6 Internal Government Investigation: The Panopticon in New York City 75
7 State and Federal Prosecutors: Putting Public Officials on Ice 93
8 Purging Corruption from Public Contracting: Blacklists, Debarments, and the Paralysis of Procurement 123
9 Auditing and Accounting Controls: Beyond Bean Counting 139
10 Waging War Against the Inevitable 153
11 Public Administration: From Reform to Pathology 173
12 Toward a New Discourse on Corruption Control 189
Notes 209
Bibliography 247
Table of Cases 267
Index 269
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