Dimensions and alignments in the African anti-corruption debate

Carolien Klein Haarhuis*, René Torenvlied

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Current theories of anti-corruption reforms in developing countries highly depend on the assumption that 'vested interests' oppose the interests of more progressive groups in society. However, no systematic description is yet available of the preference space of anti-corruption decision-making in developing countries. Are there consistent alignments of key stakeholders in the preference space, such as: the government, president, ruling party, parliamentary opposition, civil society, the media, (business) interests, and various anti-corruption agencies? This article presents a multidimensional scaling analysis of data on 33 contested proposals on public sector reform in seven African countries, collected in 2001. The analysis shows that important differences exist between countries in: (a) the number of dimensions of the preference space, (b) the involvement of key stakeholders, and (c) alignments between key stakeholders. Results are discussed with reference to anti-corruption policies of international non-governmental organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-67
Number of pages27
JournalActa politica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Corruption
  • Developing countries
  • Public sector reforms
  • Multi-dimensional scaling analysis


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