Multi-Level Perspectives on Anti-Corruption : A Systematic Literature Review
Thomas Labik Amanquandor
Summary, in English
This systematic literature review investigates the extent towhich recent anti-corruption literature goes beyond the established paradigms (i.e., principal-agent perspective,macro-level, structural, and legal centralistic approaches) to focus on society’s informal norms, everyday micro-le-vel power relations and non-monetary currencies (e.g.respect, prestige, social status and trust). By reconceptu-alising the various meanings and morality of informal, non-legal practices and transactions in the frame of the ’multi-level orders of corruption’ perspective, the paper also assesses the extent to which the current canon fo-cuses on the complex articulation and interdependencies between (1) global, transnational anti-corruption laws, in-itiatives, discourses, and institutions, (2) national/central level initiatives, policies, and laws, and (3) local, micro-le-vel social norms and practices. Based on one-hundred and three systematically gathered peer-reviewed journal artic-les published between 2015 and 2020, we found that most studies conducted within this period focus on anti-cor-ruption at the national level and mostly employ analyti-cal and quantitative methods. However, the local level received scant attention, and qualitative methods were employed in a few studies. Also, even though a significant number of studies focus on anti-corruption at multiple levels, these are mostly either the global-national level ornational-local level. None of the articles gathered for this review studies anti-corruption in a complete multi-level approach that explores the global-national-local level. Lastly, we found that most of the studies across the levels are shaped by the principal-agent perspective and indicate a predominance of the perspective within anti-corruption policy and practice across the world. Consequently, irre-spective of the entity of focus (i.e., country or institution), method (quantitative, qualitative, analytical or experimen-tal) or level of analysis (i.e., global, national, or local ormulti-level), most of the studies attribute the ineffective-ness of anti-corruption interventions to the inability of ”principals” to be principled, and hence call for increased sanctioning, supervision, monitoring and political com-mitment towards combatting corruption. Thus, there is the need for more qualitative anti-corruption studies at the local level and alternative theoretical perspectives thatgo beyond the afore mentioned established paradigms.