Lockheed and Flick (1981-1986): Anticorruption as a pragmatic practice in the Netherlands and Germany

Ronald Kroeze*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review


This chapter concentrates on two large political corruption scandals—Lockheed and Flick—in two countries that are commonly seen as relatively corruption-free: the Netherlands and Germany. It argues that these corruption scandals were taken very seriously in these countries, but were handled in different ways from what current anticorruption policies would suggest. In both instances, the existing law was regarded as inadequate and the political elites tried to keep the scandals subdued by balancing refusal of formal prosecution against intense public debate, with the aim of maintaining the stability of the political system in the longer run. In illuminating the overlapping interests of political and financial elites, this chapter stresses the value of pragmatic as opposed to morally unbendable approaches to anticorruption.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAnti-Corruption in History
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Antiquity to the Modern Era
EditorsRonald Kroeze, André Vitória, Guy Geltner
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9780192538031
ISBN (Print)9780198809975, 9780198858072
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Anticorruption
  • Corruption
  • Flick
  • Germany
  • Helmut Kohl
  • Joop den Uyl
  • Lockheed
  • Netherlands
  • Prince Bernhard
  • Scandals


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