Horizontal and social accountability for fighting corruption: the role of specialized agencies and civil society organizations in Spain
Success in the fight against corruption needs the confluence of three different factors: a favorable critical juncture, some initial institutional reforms able to act as levers to generate the necessary institutional incentives and a coalition of different social and political forces with sufficient capacity to overcome the existing obstacles to collective action. This confluence is so rare that it could well explain the recurring failures of anti-corruption policies.
Our hypothesis is that in the Spanish case two of these three elements are present: a favorable critical juncture and an institutional framework with levers to fight corruption and patronage. We know much less about the third element. Is there a social and political coalition in Spain that, beyond feeling outraged when confronted with corruption cases, and beyond being active exclusively in the persecution and exposure of corruption affecting rival groups, promotes the adoption of reforms to prevent the patrimonialist or partisan use both of government institutions and of agencies responsible for limiting governmental power?
The aim of this paper is to describe the current landscape in Spain of the role of specialised agencies at different territorial levels (federal, state and local) and of civil society organizations in the fight against corruption. The methodology will be qualitative, based on interviews with key actors. Probably we will exploit also the results of a survey, if it is finished by March 2020.