Towards a Global Consensus Against Corruption: International Agreements as Products of Diffusion and Signals of Commitment, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Towards a Global Consensus Against Corruption

International Agreements as Products of Diffusion and Signals of Commitment, 1st Edition

By Mathis Lohaus


184 pages | 11 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-03-05
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Corruption has long been identified as a governance challenge, yet it took states until the 1990s to adopt binding agreements combating it. While the rapid spread of anti-corruption treaties appears to mark a global consensus, a closer look reveals that not all regional and international organizations move on similar trajectories. This book seeks to explain similarities and differences between international anti-corruption agreements.

In this volume Lohaus develops a comprehensive analytical framework to compare international agreements in the areas of prevention, criminalization, jurisdiction, domestic enforcement and international cooperation. Outcomes range from narrow enforcement cooperation to broad commitments that often lack follow-up mechanisms. Lohaus argues that agreements vary because they are designed to signal anti-corruption commitment to different audiences. To demonstrate such different approaches to anti-corruption, he draws on two starkly different cases, the Organization of American States and the African Union.

Contributing to debates on decision-making in international organizations, this work showcases how global governance is shaped by processes of diffusion that involve state and non-state actors. The book highlights challenges as well as chances linked to the patchwork of international rules. It will be of great interest to students and scholars of IR theory, global governance, international organizations and regionalism.

Table of Contents


1. The argument: Diffusion and signalling motives

2. International anti-corruption agreements in comparison

3. Organization of American States: Activist governments and domestic reference models

4. African Union: Development cooperation, non-state actors, and external reference models

5. Conclusion: Lessons to draw from the global patchwork

Annex I: List of documents

Annex II: Additional data on scope conditions

Annex III: List of interviews

About the Author

Mathis Lohaus is a postdoctoral researcher at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at Freie Universtät Berlin, Germany. His research interests include international and regional organizations, global efforts to promote anti-corruption and good governance, and the diffusion of ideas. He holds a doctoral degree in political science from Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies and Freie Universität Berlin.

About the Series

Global Institutions

The "Global Institutions Series" is edited by Thomas G. Weiss (The CUNY Graduate Center, New York, USA) and Rorden Wilkinson (University of Sussex, UK).

The Series has two "streams" identified by their covers:

  • Blue covers offer comprehensive, accessible, and informative guides to the history, structure, and activities of key international organizations, and introductions to topics of key importance in contemporary global governance. Recognized experts use a similar structure to address the general purpose and rationale for specific organizations along with historical developments, membership, structure, decision-making procedures, key functions, and an annotated bibliography and guide to electronic sources.
  • Red covers consist of research monographs and edited collections that advance knowledge about one aspect of global governance; they reflect a wide variety of intellectual orientations, theoretical persuasions, and methodological approaches.

Together these streams provide a coherent and complementary portrait of the problems, prospects, and possibilities confronting global institutions today.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General