Unprincipled Principals: Co‐opted Bureaucrats and Corruption in Ghana

  title={Unprincipled Principals: Co‐opted Bureaucrats and Corruption in Ghana},
  author={Sarah Brierley},
  journal={American Journal of Political Science},
  • S. Brierley
  • Published 6 January 2020
  • Political Science
  • American Journal of Political Science
In theory, granting politicians tools to oversee bureaucrats can reduce administrative malfeasance. In contrast, I argue that the political control of bureaucrats can increase corruption when politicians need money to fund election campaigns and face limited institutional constraints. In such contexts, politicians can leverage their discretionary powers to incentivize bureaucrats to extract rents from the state on politicians’ behalf. Using data from an original survey of bureaucrats (N=864… 

Bartering Bureaucrats: FDI Weakens Governance∗

How does global economic integration shape governance in developing countries? We analyze the effects of foreign direct investment (FDI) on bureaucracies, a critical linchpin of governance largely

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Bureaucratic performance varies immensely even within low-capacity states. Politicians and bureaucrats create pockets or networks of effectiveness that allow some departments to perform more

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Clientelism, the exchange of selective rewards for votes, is fraught with commitment problems and questions remain regarding how it occurs in settings lacking strong parties. In such settings, we

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Since the early 2000s, decentralization has been espoused as a major policy goal of successive Zambian governments. With the passing of the 2019 Local Government Act, a greater understanding is

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Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment

  • S. Brierley
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Politics
  • 2021
When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between low- and high-skilled positions and argue that

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The study of street-level bureaucracy has been dominated by research from the Global North. Mainstream conceptualizations are, therefore, based on observations from institutional contexts that may

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  • Emmerich Davies
  • Political Science
    Proceedings of the 2022 AERA Annual Meeting
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Public sector worker absence has been commonly cited as a reason for the poor performance of developing country public services. This absenteeism is expensive: a nationally representative sample of



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I argue that if citizens systematically underestimate what their government can and should do for them, then they will hold politicians to a lower standard and sanction poor performers less often. A

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Political institutions can affect corruption. We use audit reports from an anti-corruption program in Brazil to construct new measures of political corruption in local governments and test whether

Merit, Tenure, and Bureaucratic Behavior: Evidence From a Conjoint Experiment in the Dominican Republic

Bureaucratic behavior in developing countries remains poorly understood. Why do some public servants—yet not others—work hard to deliver public services, misuse state resources, and/or participate in

Electoral Connections: The Effects of the Personal Vote on Political Patronage, Bureaucracy and Legislation in Postwar Italy

  • M. Golden
  • Political Science
    British Journal of Political Science
  • 2003
This article examines the relationship between the legislature and the public administration in postwar Italy (understood as the period from about 1948 through 1994). Italian public administration is

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We offer an institutional explanation for the dramatic decline in corrupt practices that characterizes British political development in the mass suffrage era. Parliamentary candidates who faced

Combining Patronage and Merit in Public Sector Recruitment

  • S. Brierley
  • Political Science
    The Journal of Politics
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When do politicians in developing democracies prioritize meritocratic recruitment over patronage hiring for public sector jobs? I distinguish between low- and high-skilled positions and argue that

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Abstract We develop a framework to empirically examine how politicians with electoral pressures control bureaucrats with career concerns and the consequent implications for bureaucrats' career