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Good Governance and Corruption in Latin America *

The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America

ISBN: 978-1-83982-677-1, eISBN: 978-1-83982-676-4

Publication date: 12 January 2021


This article will attempt to answer the following question: what has been done to prevent corruption and promote a “good government” in Latin America, what are the results and what explains the current situation? After analyzing very different experiences, the following could be stated: (1) there is at least a formal concern for promoting integrity in several countries, but there are problems of diagnosis and formulation; (2) the examples of implementation failures are far too many in Latin America. In any case, the most important factor explaining failures of design and implementation is the presence of a social trap and a political trap. The social trap is expressed by the incoherence of society itself, which demands honesty from Government, but in practice incentivizes corruption by paying bribes, breaching rules, and demanding privileges within the framework of clientelist networks. The political trap emerges from the strong path dependency effect resulting from the consolidation of patronage or clientelist networks.



Villoria, M. (2021), "Good Governance and Corruption in Latin America * ", Peters, B.G., Tercedor, C.A. and Ramos, C. (Ed.) The Emerald Handbook of Public Administration in Latin America, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 407-435.



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