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Anti-corruption in HistoryFrom Antiquity to the Modern Era$
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Ronald Kroeze, André Vitória, and Guy Geltner

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198809975

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198809975.001.0001

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Statebuilding, Establishing Rule of Law and Fighting Corruption in Denmark, 1660–1900

Statebuilding, Establishing Rule of Law and Fighting Corruption in Denmark, 1660–1900

Chapter:
(p.197) 13 Statebuilding, Establishing Rule of Law and Fighting Corruption in Denmark, 1660–1900
Source:
Anti-corruption in History
Author(s):

Mette Frisk Jensen

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198809975.003.0014

This chapter discusses Denmark’s unique, and successful, approach to anticorruption; an approach that has recently attracted much attention from social scientists and policy advisors. It provides a revised historical explanation of how Denmark came to be ranked at the top of the Corruption Perception Index, arguing that the roots of the process must be sought in the efforts of the absolutist monarchical regime to secure its power and legitimacy, through initiatives such as recruitment based on merit and by visibly responding to citizens’ requests. However, the chapter also illustrates how certain institutions that current political science literature sees as the key to the country’s low levels of corruption developed outside the context of a conscious struggle against corruption. The chapter therefore explicitly raises concerns about how far the Danish example can be stretched, and used, as a model for other countries.

Keywords:   corruption, anticorruption, Frederik III, Frederik IV, statebuilding, rule of law, Denmark, absolutism, oath of office

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