Political will and government anti-corruption efforts: What does the evidence say?
Embargoed until: 2020-02-01
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“Political will” is oft‐cited as the major obstacle to government's anti‐corruption efforts. Notwithstanding, there is remarkably little systematic analysis of the concept, with some scholars describing it as the “slipperiest concept in the policy lexicon,” whereas others are calling for its empirical relevance. This paper tries to unpack the “black box” of political will by making it an empirically relevant concept drawing on evidence from two Asian countries; Singapore and Bangladesh. Four key indicators based on the works of earlier scholars are used including origin of the initiative; comprehension and extent of analysis; credible sanctions; and resource dedication and sustenance are used. The paper also uses Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index, World Bank's World Governance Indicators (Control of Corruption and Government Effectiveness), and Political, Economic and Risk Consultancy's annual survey in Asia, as outcome measures. Based on the empirical evidence from the two countries, the paper shows that political will indeed has a positive influence on government's anti‐corruption efforts. Although political will may not be sufficient, it is a necessary condition to fight corruption, and that the difference between the positions of Singapore and Bangladesh on various global corruption league tables may be attributed to political will.
Public Administration and Development
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Political will and government anti-corruption efforts: What does the evidence say?, Public Administration and Development, Volume 38, Issue 1, Pages 3-14, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1002/pad.1815. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving (http://olabout.wiley.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-828039.html)