Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 December 2018
Debates over whether transnational and international legal institutions are fair, effective, or legitimate responses to corruption of local public officials have an important empirical dimension. We use case studies to examine whether foreign legal institutions serve as fair, effective, and legitimate complements to local anticorruption institutions. We refer to this set of claims as the “institutional complementarity theory.” The first case study centers on proceedings concerning bribes paid by subsidiaries of Siemens AG, a German company, to obtain and retain a contract to provide national identity cards for the Argentine government. The second case study examines events stemming from overbilling in the construction of a courthouse in Brazil. Analysis of these cases suggests that the institutional complementary theory is credible. At the same time, the findings suggest that local institutions have greater potential, and foreign institutions have more limited potential, than the theory assumes.