Revisionist Approaches to Corruption: From “Cynical Conservativism” to Radical Realism

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the genealogy of the “revisionist” approaches to corruption. The core of the approaches is the idea that practices deviating from formal rules or “accepted norms” with the objective of serving private ends may have a positive aggregate-level impact. No less important, the approaches are skeptic about anti-corruption attempts. In interrogating the revisionist approaches, the paper demonstrates that corruption studies have ignored important ideas, causing it to remain intertwined with moralism, despite proclamations otherwise. The paper thus argues that incorporating revisionist ideas might ease the discontent in corruption studies and improve public integrity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPublic Integrity
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Society for Public Administration.


  • Anti-corruption
  • corruption
  • judgment
  • moralism
  • realism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Philosophy
  • Public Administration
  • Law


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