This study analyzes the causes and consequences of corruption prosecutions in Japan, the United States, Italy, and South Korea. It focuses on bribery cases involving elected officials or central government bureaucrats, and on prosecutors, the pivotal legal actor in all four countries. The study addresses two major questions. First, what explains the different patterns of corruption prosecutions in these nations? To answer this question I will link foreground or proximate causes -- the major "dimensions" of prosecution systems - to background causes such as cultural attitudes, institutional structures and incentives, historical events, and mass media roles. Second, what are the consequences of different prosecution regimes, for the targets of corruption investigations, for civil liberties, and for the functioning of these nations' governments? To answer this question I will assess the various effects of different "anti-corruption projects." Ultimately, this is a study about the role and rule of law in dealing with political corruption, a problem which preoccupies advanced industrial societies in Japan, the United States, and throughout the world.