TRACE International, a private anti-bribery compliance support and consulting organization, is holding an essay competition that I think might be of interest to some GAB readers:
TRACE publishes biennial edited volume called How to Pay a Bribe: Thinking Like a Criminal to Thwart Bribery Schemes, which provides an informative collection of essays on the nitty gritty details on how firms and individuals pay and conceal unlawful bribes. (For information on the first two editions, from 2012 and 2014, see here and here.) For the next edition of this series, TRACE is soliciting submissions that describe real-world bribery schemes in international business. TRACE will select up to five submissions to be published in the third edition of How to Pay a Bribe, and the authors of the five winning submissions will receive a US$2,000 honorarium. The submission guidelines indicate that entries should be no more than 3,500 words, that all submissions must be original and not previously published, and that narratives and anecdotes are preferred over academic writing. The submission deadline is June 30, 2015. More information on the contest can be found on TRACE’s website here.
This is a fascinating idea; to learn how to target bribery, we must first learn how bribery has worked in the past and how to think like a briber. It reminds me a little of reports I’ve seen that intelligence agencies have hired authors in the past to try to imagine what types plots terrorists might attempt in the future. The problem with these schemes, though, is the risk that (1) these stories might wed the thinking of enforcement authorities to the past, such that we’re always looking for yesterday’s bribery patterns and not proactively anticipating future trends in corruption; and (2) it may be difficult to generalize from these stories and learn any practical lessons. I look forward to checking out this series, though.