Handbook on Corruption, Ethics and Integrity in Public Administration
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Handbook on Corruption, Ethics and Integrity in Public Administration

Edited by Adam Graycar

This timely Handbook unpacks the underlying common factors that give rise to corrupting environments. Investigating opportunities to deliver ethical public policy, it explores global trends in public administration and its vulnerability to corruption today, as well as proposing strategies for building integrity and diminishing corruption in public sectors around the globe.
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Chapter 32: From anti-corruption to building integrity

Nikolas Kirby


Fighting corruption is an important public policy objective. However, recently, a number of theorists, practitioners and organisations have started to recognise the limitations of this agenda. According to them, aiming to merely make individuals and institutions ‘not corrupt’ is a pretty low ethical bar. Instead, we should be aiming to build their public integrity. However, what does this mean? And, how might one go about it? This chapter aims to assess current answers to these questions. It is in four parts. First, it sets out the particular critiques of the ‘anti-corruption’ agenda that have motivated this new ‘pro-integrity’ agenda. Second, it examines various accounts of the meaning of ‘public integrity’. Third, it sets out the threads of an emerging field of integrity management. Finally, it steps back to look at systemic and constitutional implications, examining ‘integrity institutions’, ‘integrity systems’, as well as emerging arguments for a fourth, ‘integrity branch’ of government.

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