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Political Research Exchange - PRX

'Successful' Anti-Corruption Politics in Botswana and Singapore: Understanding how a Global 'Failure' becomes a Celebrated 'Success' in Certain Contexts

Policy Analysis
Comparative Perspective
Domestic Politics
Alain Eloka
Université de Lausanne
Alain Eloka
Université de Lausanne

Anti-corruption politics have emerged as a global prescription in the 1990s. Subsequently, there has been a growing struggle against corruption in almost every country in the world, regardless of political systems and regime types. At the same time, and while anti-corruption movements keep growing all over the world year after year, these struggles have mainly been perceived as generic failures, with overall persistent corruption. However, some rare countries like Botswana and Singapore are constantly celebrated as exceptions with successful anti-corruption politics. They have consequently been branded as role models for other countries. Building on an in-depth empirical and qualitative study of how anti-corruption politics work in those two countries, this article exposes why a socio-political phenomenon that is generally and consensually said to be a “failure” is paradoxically perceived as a “success” in certain contexts such as Singapore and Botswana.
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