1st Edition

The Politics of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Latin America

Edited By Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez Copyright 2022
    316 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 6 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book investigates the history, development, and current state of anti-corruption agencies in Latin America.

    In recent decades, specialized anti-corruption agencies have sprung up as countries seek to respond to corruption and to counter administrative and political challenges. However, the characteristics, resources, power, and performance of these agencies reflect the political and economic environment in which they operate. This book draws on a range of case studies from across Latin America, considering both national anti-corruption bodies and agencies created and administered by, or in close coordination with, international organizations. Together, these stories demonstrate the importance of the political will of reformers, the private interests of key actors, the organizational space of other agencies, the position of advocacy groups, and the level of support from the public at large.

    This book will be a key resource for researchers across political science, corruption studies, development, and Latin American Studies. It will also be a valuable guide for policy makers and professionals in NGOs and international organizations working on anti-corruption advocacy and policy advice.

    Part I: National commissions, agencies, and systems

    1. Introduction: Locating anti-corruption agencies within the politics of anti-corruption in Latin America Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez
    2. Anti-Corruption Whack-a-Mole: Costa Rica’s de-centralized agencies and increasingly sophisticated corruption Bruce M. Wilson and Evelyn Villarreal Fernández
    3. Combating Corruption in Chile: The Presidential Advisory Commissions on Public Probity, 1994-2015 Patricio Silva
    4. Promise, Invisibility, Politicization: The waving path of the Anti-Corruption Office in Argentina Manuel Balán
    5. The Politics of Building Anti-Corruption Institutions: The Case of Anti-Corruption Agencies in Peru Sofia Vera and Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez
    6. The Anti-Corruption Agency and Its Policy Role in Colombia: Improvement in Institutional Capacity or Political Symbolism? Pablo Sanabria and Claudia N. Avellaneda
    7. Corruption control under fire: A brief history of Brazil’s Office of the Comptroller General Fernanda Odilla and Denisse Rodriguez-Olivari
    8. Mexico's National Anti-Corruption System Bonnie J. Palifka, Ingrid Valeria Galicia González and María de los Ángeles Estrada
    9. Dealing with the "original contradiction" in fighting corruption in countries with systemic corruption: A critique of the cases of Brazil and Mexico and their multiorganizational strategies David Arellano-Gault and Gabriel S. Rojas
    10. Part II: International missions and commissions

    11. Unprecedented Success and Entrenched Opposition: The Complicated Legacy of the International Commission Against Impunity in Guatemala Jeffrey Hallock
    12. The Mission to Support the Fight Against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras (MACCIH) and its New Integrated Criminal Investigation Model Ana María Calderón Boy
    13. Ten Key Lessons from the OAS Mission in Support of the Fight against Corruption and Impunity in Honduras Charles T. Call
    14. The Role of the United Nations and the Organization of American States in Delegation of Governance Agreements: The Case of Hybrid Anticorruption Agencies in Central America Laura Zamudio-González
    15. The Illusion of CICIES in El Salvador Úrsula Indacochea and Jessica Estrada
    16. Empty promises to fighting corruption in Ecuador: The failure of the International Experts Commission against Corruption in Ecuador (CEICCE) Claudia Escobar
    17. Conclusion: The Anti-Corruption Agency Space in Latin America Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez




    Joseph Pozsgai-Alvarez is specially appointed associate professor, School of Human Sciences, Osaka University, Japan.

    "Dedicated anti-corruption agencies are a favorite prescription for improving the quality of government, but their global track record is indifferent-to-dismal. Such agencies are rarely transformative interventions; rather, they are immersed in the systems, institutions, and procedures they are intended to change. This essential collection examines the problems and potential of such agencies throughout Latin America, offering a fresh view of reforms in the region and reassessing contemporary reform thinking."

    Michael Johnston, Charles A. Dana Professor of Political Science, Emeritus, Colgate University, USA

    "The case studies by a dream team of country experts examining anti-corruption agencies at both the national and international levels in Latin America provide critical insights into the political challenges these agencies face during their creation and operation; their interactions with economic, social and political dynamics; and the conditions behind success and failure. This must-read contribution to the literature brilliantly reveals the political context surrounding the on-going fight against corruption."

    Stephen D. Morris, Middle Tennessee State University, USA

    "Devising successful strategies to reduce rampant corruption is critical everywhere, especially in Latin America. The chapters in this important book showcase victories, and also the defeats from which anticorruption activists can learn how to improve their attacks on wholesale kleptocracy as well as on standard forms of state capture, money laundering, and graft. The anticorruption battle is ongoing and this can be one of its guides."

    Robert I. Rotberg, Harvard Kennedy School, USA; Anticorruption (2020), Corruption in Latin America (2019)