1st Edition

Towards a Global Consensus Against Corruption International Agreements as Products of Diffusion and Signals of Commitment

By Mathis Lohaus Copyright 2019
    196 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    196 Pages 11 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    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.


    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


    Mathis Lohaus is a postdoctoral researcher at the Otto Suhr Institute of Political Science at Freie Universt├Ąt 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 Universit├Ąt Berlin.