Feeling the Heat? Anticorruption Mechanisms in Comparative Perspective

Moshe Maor*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This article addresses the implications of political executives losing control over corruption investigations of senior officeholders following the creation of anticorruption mechanisms (e.g., commissions, special prosecutors, independent counsels, investigating judges). When investigations hit close to home, the ensuing political fallout makes political executives eager to look for ways to derail such investigations, especially when investigators proceed with an uncharted mandate. Against this background, two hypotheses are investigated: (i) the striking outcome of this process is a concerted move by targeted political executives to undermine the credibility of anticorruption mechanisms and, when deemed necessary, to terminate their operation, and (ii) the extent to which the prosecutors are successful depends on both institutions and media accessibility: the more centralized and fused political power is, and the less media accessible the government is, the harder it will be to carry out an investigation. These hypotheses are strongly supported by a comparative analysis of five anticorruption mechanisms in the United States, the Soviet Union, Italy, and Australia (Queensland and New South Wales.).

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2004


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