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Cheri-Leigh Erasmus, Global Director of Learning at the Accountability Lab, speaks to Dan Hough, Professor of Politics at the Centre for the Study of Corruption. She describes Accountability Lab's distinctive approach to building integrity in the civil service with examples from across the globe. She shares some lessons from this work and offers plenty of ideas for how to engage new audiences in anti-corruption work. You can see more on the work of Accountability Lab here,
Claudia Baez Camargo, Head of Public Governance at the Basel Institute, talks to Liz Dávid-Barrett about her work on applying social norms theory to analysing corruption issues. The episode takes in examples of applied research in East Africa and Ukraine, while Claudia's thinking on corruption is also influenced by her upbringing in Mexico. Claudia describes some successes in altering social norms around corruption in health settings but equally some of the challenges in sustaining these initiatives. In addition, Claudia talks about her work analysing informal networks of corrupt actors as well as how we might use insights from behavioural science to improve anti-corruption interventions.
This episode features Cecilia Müller Torbrand, CEO of the Maritime Anti-Corruption Network (MACN). She speaks to Liz Dávid-Barrett about the work of MACN, a network of shipping businesses which has been making some real headway in reducing corruption risks in this sector. The MACN story offers lots of valuable lessons for researchers and practitioners. Cecilia talks about how MACN has succeeded in framing its messaging around trade and commerce to engage government and the private sector in anti-corruption work. She also describes the incredible data MACN has compiled on corruption incidents and risks in the sector, which it uses to push for change. Detailed examples from Argentina and Nigeria show how the model works in practice and provide evidenced examples of change.
Luís de Sousa, deputy director and research fellow at ICS-ULisboa, speaks to Robert Barrington, professor of anti-corruption practice at the Centre for the Study of Corruption, on a range of topics. Luís is well-known for his research on anti-corruption agencies and in the episode he discusses country cases and conditions for success. This is also the first Kickback episode to discuss Portugal in depth. Lessons from Portugal on the politicization of anti-corruption measures, the role of external actors in reform, and the importance of local government will be of real interest to researchers and practitioners working in comparable contexts.
In this episode recorded on the margins of the International Anti-Corruption Conference, Paul Massaro, senior policy advisor for the U.S. Helsinki Commission, speaks to Liz Dávid-Barrett. Paul discusses the drivers behind the Enablers Act and the role of the US in countering kleptocracy. The conversation also covers the effectiveness of international sanctions on corruption and the importance of counter-kleptocracy work to ending the war in Ukraine.
Kicking off 2023 we were delighted to have Dame Margaret Hodge join us to talk about integrity issues in the UK. She speaks to Dr. Sam Power, Senior Lecturer at the Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption, to talk about her fascinating route into politics and how this naturally led her to focus on integrity. The episode covers corruption issues in the UK including the UK's role in wider international patterns of corruption. Margaret and Sam discuss some practical responses to these issues which will be of real interest to reformers in the UK and other countries facing similar challenges.
This episode from the margins of the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Washington DC features Shannon Green, Executive Director of USAID's Anti-Corruption Task Force. Shannon talks to Liz Dávid-Barrett about the agency's new anti-corruption strategy. They also focus on the challenge of fighting kleptocracies and USAID's new dekleptification guide. Here are links to the resources discussed USAID anti-corruption strategy: USAID dekleptification guide:
We are delighted to announce that the Centre for the Study of Corruption (CSC) at the University of Sussex is the new home of Kickback. The centre will be hosting the podcast over the next three years. We look forward to continuing the great work of the original Kickback team and welcoming an interesting range of guests from across the anti-corruption community. Robert Barrington talks more about the handover in a blog for the CSC (link below). In this episode, Matthew Stephenson talks to Liz Dávid-Barrett about what we have learnt from Kickback so far. He also offers his thoughts on the major themes and challenges the anti-corruption field should be tackling. These include 'the political economy of anti-corruption reform' as well as the proper place for theory in anti-corruption work. We additionally take this opportunity to ask Matthew about his latest research. He talks about a recent paper on the US experience of anti-corruption which provides some evidence to support an incremental theory of anti-corruption reform in contrast to 'big bang' explanations. There will be new episodes coming from the CSC in the new year so stay posted! Blog on the handover from Robert Barrington - Here are links to papers discussed by Matthew - Taming systemic corruption: The American experience and its implications for contemporary debates - - co-authored with Mariano-Florentino Cuèllar Corruption as a self-reinforcing trap -
Ahead of the Qatar World Cup, we welcome Maggie Murphy, CEO of Lewes Football Club and a former Senior Global Advocacy Manager at Transparency International. She speaks to Dan Hough, self-professed football obsessive and Professor of Politics at Sussex University. Maggie takes us through her journey from anti-corruption campaigning to football management. She and Dan discuss the ethical problems affecting football, including the FIFA scandal, and how these issues exacerbate inequity between the men's and women's games. Maggie offers an alternative vision for ethical club management which we can all buy into.
In the first of a series of episodes hosted by the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, we welcome Daniel Kaufmann. Daniel is a senior fellow at Results for Development (R4D) and President Emeritus at the Natural Resource Governance Institute (NRGI). He is also a former Director of the World Bank where he headed programmes related to corruption and governance. He is well-known in the anti-corruption field for his work co-developing leading global indices, including the Worldwide Governance Indicators. In this episode Daniel speaks to Liz Dávid-Barrett, Professor of Governance and Integrity at the University of Sussex, about his route into this field. As leading scholars on state capture, Daniel and Liz talk through the origins of the term in the 1990s and how the concept has evolved since then. The discussion takes us through several cases including countries in the Balkans, South Africa, the UK and US. The conversation finishes on the challenging measuring the problem of state capture.
We welcome Andrii Borovyk (@Borovyk_UA), Executive Director of Transparency International Ukraine, and Gretta Fenner (@gretweets), the managing director of the Basel Institute for Governance. Andrii and Gretta describe their background and how they ended up in their current positions. How the invasion changed anti-corruption work within Ukraine, how reconstruction efforts have already begun, and which corruption risks need to be taken care of to ensure effective reconstruction efforts, emphasizing the need for powerful anti-corruption institutions, better conditionalities as well as open, accessible, and centralized public information repositories. The interview discusses the approach towards conditionalities taken by the IMF, how they change in times of war, and the importance of the donors' abilities to trace the money spent. Finally, the three discuss the need for an inspector general for Ukraine and whether to create new or strengthen existing anti-corruption institutions. Links during the episode: Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine: More information about the different anti-corruption institutions in Ukraine: Strategic corruption in the context of Ukraine and Europe: The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU): Joint paper by Basel Institute of Governance and TI Ukraine: Prozorro Public Procurement Platform: Open Contracting Partnership: Post-war reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan: &
We welcome Mihaly Fazekas, assistant professor at the Central European University, Department of Public Policy, who works on a range of topics related to corruption. The interview covers how how his own personal experience with bad public infrastructure inspired him to conduct corruption research, why he believes that corruption research would benefit from a better understanding of what are actually ymeasuring when we study corruption and the importance of investigative journalism (for example the invesgtative journalism center direct36; Mihaly then makes a compelling pitch why public procurement offers a relevant and interesting subject for corruption researchers. The enf of the interview deals with the intersection between big data, technology and corruption, such as whether new corruption risks emanate from Artificial Intelligence and how AI conversely might be used to fight corruption. Concrete examples mentioned: the e-procurement portal Dozorro in Ukraine: Mihaly’s pick of the podcast: the classic computer game civilization II: Further reading on AI and anti-corruption: Fazekas, M., & Kocsis, G. (2020). Uncovering high-level corruption: cross-national objective corruption risk indicators using public procurement data. British Journal of Political Science, 50(1), 155-164. Abdou, A., Basdevant, O., David-Barrett, E., & Fazekas, M. (2022). Assessing Vulnerabilities to Corruption in Public Procurement and Their Price Impact. IMF Working Papers, 2022(094). Adam, I., & Fazekas, M. (2021). Are emerging technologies helping win the fight against corruption? A review of the state of evidence. Information Economics and Policy, 57, 100950. Köbis, N., Starke, C., & Rahwan, I. (2022). The promise and perils of using artificial intelligence to fight corruption. Nature Machine Intelligence, 4(5), 418-424.
Michel Sapin ( served as a Minister of Finance in France from 1992 to 1993 and 2014 to 2017 and now works as a Senior Advisor for Franklin Lawyers with a specialization in anti-corruption laws. Valentina Lana is a Lecturer at the Sciences Po law school in Paris. Matthew Stephenson interviews the two to discuss the French anti-corruption law known as the la loi Sapin II. They cover why France’s approach towards anti-corruption changed when Michel worked for the government and the importance of the notion of “public interest” in the process. The interview also touches on the surprises and disappointing aspects of the law and how it differs from US legislation against corruption. The three discuss how the French approach toward anti-corruption can inspire other nations to follow suit. If you want to read more about France’s anti-corruption turn-around law, you can find Valentina’s and Michel’s guest post on the Global Anti-corruption blog:
We are thrilled to welcome Ray Fisman (@RFisman), Professor of Economics at Boston University, long-standing corruption expert and author of Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations ( (with Ed Miguel) and Corruption: What everybody needs to know ( (with Miriam Golden). Matthew and Ray sat down to discuss the classic question whether corruption always hinders development, which types of corruption are particularly harmful, conversations that inspired Ray’s career and Ray’s more recent work on the hidden influence of political connections. You can find all the referenced papers below: Professor Louis T. Wells ( whose work on Indonesia influenced Ray Samuel Huntington ( who coined the idea that corruption may grease the wheels Moncur Olsen ( who introduced the distinction between some forms of centralized corruption being like a stationary bandit while other less centralized are like roving bandits Andrej Shleifer and Robert Vishny’s famous QJE paper entitled Corruption Benjamin Olken and Patrick Barron’s work in Aceh introducing the idea of a toll booth theory of corruption Shang-Jin Wei’s work on the varying prices of bribes New York Times Article of mine collapse in China: Ray & Marianne Bertrand’s work on hidden influence of political connectedness:
Today, we welcome investigative journalist Frederik Obermaier (@f_obermaier). In the interview, we cover the Suisse Secrets ( Frederik also mentions the China Cables uncovering surveillance and mass internment without charge or trial of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in Xinjiang, China ( We also discuss the Swiss Bank Secrecy Law and its infamous article 47 undermining Media Freedom in Switzerland): Pop-culture references in the interview: The Laundromat( Frederik's pick of the podcast: Money Men (Dan McCrum) about the Wirecard Scandal:
We welcome back Gary Kalman, director of Transparency International’s United States Office, for the third time. Find out more about the coalition at (00:40) - Progress the U.S. is making on the fight against global corruption, and the role of U.S. entities in facilitating corruption (05:19) - The White House Anti Corruption strategy document (“United States Strategy on Countering Corruption”: (10:43) - The influence of Transparency International on U.S. decisions and support for anti-corruption missions in other countries (14:14) - The Summit for Democracy (19:28) - Comparison to the 2016 Anti-Corruption Summit (24:00) - Maintaining and expanding bipartisan support for anti corruption and anti money laundering initiatives (31:00) - The ENABLERS Act (41:07) - The Foreign Extortion Prevention Act and The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) ( (47:32) - Global anti-bribery enforcement and the challenges the U.S has with information sharing (53:25) - FCPA violations and prosecutions (55:10) - The most important agenda items for Transparency International’s U.S. office
In this special episode, we welcome Anastasia Kirilenko to the podcast. She is an investigative journalist and the co-author of the documentary "Putin and the Mafia" ( (02:55) - Kirilenko's background (06:59) - Documentary "Putin and the Mafia" (10:55) - Media restrictions in Russia (15:50) - The role of the civil society in Russia (20:32) - The role of oligarchs in Russian politics (28:24) - Informing Russian citizens through short wave radio (31:30) - How could the international anti-corruption community do?
In this special episode, Oksana Huss, who has been working on anticorruption in Ukraine for the last 10 years, talks with Svitlana Musiiaka, who is a lawyer based in Ukraine and Head of Research and Policy at NAKO. Musiiaka was previously Head of Corruption Detection in the Ministry of Health, and worked with the Prosecutors Office in Ukraine. (01:32) - Musiiaka’s career (06:37) - What is NAKO, and how it fits into Ukraine’s defence structure ( (13:27) - Anticorruption developments in Ukraine (20:50) - NAKO and reform to change Soviet style ways (25:00) - Ukraine’s military history (28:24) - A constructive approach leading to successful collaboration (33:52) - The Soviet approach (37:30) - Transparency in the defence sector (45:08) - Reform in Ukraine and how Ukraine has held up its military strength against the Russian army (55:15) - Supporting Ukraine now
We welcome Oksana Nesterenko as part of our series on Ukraine. She is an Associate Professor of Law and the Executive Director of the Anti-corruption Research and Education Centre at National University of Kiev-Mohyla Academy. (01:06) - Nesterenko’s interest in anti-corruption and her work as an academic researcher and advocate (02:39) - The war for values (11:00) - The cultural and political threat of Ukraine; joining NATO and the threat to Putin’s regime (15:56) - Putin’s money and protecting his regime (25:00) - Zelenskyy as a politician and whether he held up to his anti-corruption promises (35:10) - What needs to be done by governments around the world to put a stop to dirty money (45:05) - Last words; money and war
As a continuation on our series about Ukraine, we welcome Igor logvinenko, an associate professor of diplomacy and world affairs at Occidental College. (01:14) - Igor’s background and his book, “Global Finance, Local Control: Corruption and Wealth in Contemporary Russia” (06:51) - Russia’s historical corruption and current financial integration into world business. (15:20) - The mark of change in a stabilised regime, British Petroleum existing Russian investments (18:15) - The impact of current sanctions, freezing Russia’s Central Bank, action by private companies: Ikea (25:07) - The use of targeted individual sanctions and asset seizures and their appropriateness as anticorruption tool. The Magnitsky Act ( (33:29) - The American financial system and the openness of western economies. Igor’s work with Casey Michel (listen to episode 66 of Kickback to hear from Casey) (49:40) - Looking ahead: the offshore jurisdiction of the U.S., the fundamental structure o the global financial system, and structural changes driven by local populations
Comments (2)

mohsen fakhary

I think episode 0 is deleted or somehow have a problem. I cannot download it or listen to it while I downloaded episodes 1 and 2 successfully. BTW thank you for good content you provided!

Jul 10th

Tris Hicks

The common way to standardise is incidents per thousand which ‘disadvantages states like Wyoming over California’. Apparently. Otherwise an interesting topic with some insight into the complexity of measuring Criminal Justice

Feb 1st
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