As I confessed in the Preface, this book has had a longer gestation than any diligent author should wish to admit. As a consequence, the book has a lengthy lineage. My colleagues at Columbia University, especially Alfred Stepan (former dean of the School of International and Public Affairs), initially assured me that what I was looking for was right around the next library carrel; that they were mistaken does not diminish their encouragement. More substantively, Professor Susan Rose-Ackerman (then at Columbia's Law School and now at Yale University), who had provided an economist's view of corruption in her Corruption: A Study in Political Corruption ( 1978), kindly shared her more recent thoughts on the subject.
Michael Johnston ( Colgate University), whose Political Corruption and Public Policy in America ( 1982) served in many ways as a model, was equally generous with his time and insights. Indeed, an initial inkling of this book's argument was published in a Johnston-edited journal, Corruption & Reform, bearing the ungainly title, "Public Policy Effects of Systemic Political Corruption" ( 1989). Theodore J. Lowi ( Cornell University) graciously sent me materials I was having difficulty obtaining. I owe a particular debt of gratitude to Robert K. Merton (The Russell Sage Foundation), less for his seminal thinking regarding corruption than for his personal encouragement; I trust that my reading of his ideas will not embarrass him.
In the summer of 1988, Brian Jenkins, Chair of the RAND Corporation's Political Science Department, hosted a seminar in which I presented an outline of this book's argument. A few years later, I had a