International Anti-Corruption Initiatives: a Classification of Policy Interventions

  • Jean-Patrick Villeneuve
  • Giulia MugelliniEmail author
  • Marlen Heide


In recent decades, the number of anti-corruption policies developed in the public sector increased considerably. However, existing attempts at classifying them do not fully address the complexity of corruption types, risk factors, and policy environments. Owing to a limited problem description, existing classifications do not always account for the full spectrum of potential policy tools, thus impeding the design, monitoring, and evaluation of anti-corruption interventions. By reviewing the main features of more than 30 international initiatives targeting administrative corruption, this paper aims at identifying the core elements for a comprehensive and actionable typology of anti-corruption policies. A content analysis of the existing international efforts highlights the importance of considering three main groups of variables for classifying anti-corruption initiatives: the type of gain involved in the corrupt conduct, the mechanism of intervention exploited by the policy, and the type of policy tool. The typology provides an interdisciplinary perspective on existing anti-corruption efforts, confronting well-known criminological distinctions with a detailed classification of policy instruments. The study also identifies the main features and limits of existing anti-corruption classifications and efforts, such as the predominance of the economic paradigm and the focus on the characteristics of developing countries for problematizing corruption.


Typology Anti-corruption policies Prevention mechanisms International organizations 



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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Patrick Villeneuve
    • 1
  • Giulia Mugellini
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marlen Heide
    • 1
  1. 1.Università della Svizzera ItalianaLuganoSwitzerland

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