Volume 2021, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2617-2755
  • EISSN: 2617-2763


State-led anti-corruption agencies are often posited for their state-legitimizing effects. This article argues that anti-corruption agencies (ACAs) can have adverse legitimacy effects on the state and its institutions. Based on an extensive review of the literature, this article first defines twelve ACA ideal types that reflect their corruption-reduction potential. It then illustrates the negative effects of ACAs on state legitimacy through two case studies, Nepal and Guatemala. The findings show that ACAs can have a negative impact on state legitimacy if they increase public awareness and condemnation of corruption in state institutions or if governments interfere with effective investigations from the ACA. Taken together, these findings highlight that anti-corruption policies and reforms need to account for and adapt to potentially delegitimating effects on state institutions.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Anti-corruption agencyGuatemalaNepalstate legitimacy and trust
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