Public administration and corruption: a comparative case study of the police services in Ghana and Uganda

Chapter Authors: Mesharch Walto Katusiimeh Donna Harris


This chapter discusses corruption in the police services in Uganda and Ghana as the main case studies. Despite increasing interest, there is still a lack of understanding of what could be the underlying causes for pervasive corruption within the police service. We find that after many years of implementing police reforms, these efforts appear to have had no impact. Today, the public image of the police in Uganda and Ghana is very negative. Only suspicion, discontent, and distrust mark the relationship between the public and their police. The chapter draws attention to the historical, contextual, and social factors that drive corrupt behaviour within the police administration. It also reviews existing theoretical frameworks on the micro-foundations of corrupt behavior and points to the fact that further research is needed to revise the formulation of anti-corruption reforms by considering the locally prevailing social and historical contexts. In order to do so, researchers may benefit from exploring behavioural influences such as identities, norms, and narratives that motivate actions and their relationships to the observed entrenched character of corrupt practices in the police.