Njoroge Mutahi

Job Title



African Development Bank



Area of Expertise

  • Conflict
  • Gender and constitutions
  • Diversity
  • Customary governance/legal pluralism
  • Human rights
  • Judicial system design
  • Minority issues
  • Participation
  • Power sharing (horizontal/vertical)
  • Religion
  • Security sector





Despite government commitments to mitigate corruption and strengthen mechanisms of accountability in state security sectors, reform efforts frequently fail to curb illegal practices by state agents. Scholars offer explanations that range from deeply embedded societal norms of appropriate behavior to rational accounts emphasizing the individualized benefits corruption can offer. Using a case study of the Service Standing Orders in Kenya's National Police Service however, we build on the work of Persson et al.'s analysis to show how corrupt practices on the part of street-level agents are reinforced within organizational hierarchies, through institutionalized—rather than personalized—incentives and obligations. As a result, policy innovations that do not explicitly identify the countervailing incentives created through internal command structures are likely to miss potentially fruitful avenues for institutional reform.


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