New Podcast Episode, Featuring Paul Massaro

A new episode of KickBack: The Global Anticorruption Podcast is now available. In latest episode, host Liz David-Barrett interviews Paul Massaro, senior policy advisor for the U.S. Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (known as the Helsinki Commission), an independent commission of the U.S. Federal Government that works to advance security by promoting human rights, democracy, and international cooperation. The discussion focuses on new initiatives to counter kleptocracy, proposals to strengthen U.S. anti-money laundering laws, the effectiveness of international sanctions on kleptocrats and their associates, and the importance of counter-kleptocracy work to ending the war in Ukraine.

You can also find both this episode and an archive of prior episodes at the following locations:

KickBack was originally founded as a collaborative effort between GAB and the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN). It is now hosted and managed by the University of Sussex’s Centre for the Study of Corruption. If you like it, please subscribe/follow, and tell all your friends!

New Podcast Episode, Featuring Margaret Hodge

A new episode of KickBack: The Global Anticorruption Podcast is now available. In latest episode, host Sam Power interviews Dame Margaret Hodge, an MP in the UK parliament who has previously served in multiple ministerial positions. Dame Hodge discusses integrity and corruption issues in the UK, the UK’s role in wider international patterns of corruption, and a number of practical responses to these issues. You can also find both this episode and an archive of prior episodes at the following locations: KickBack was originally founded as a collaborative effort between GAB and the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN). It is now hosted and managed by the University of Sussex’s Centre for the Study of Corruption. If you like it, please subscribe/follow, and tell all your friends!

New Podcast Episode, Featuring Shannon Green

A new episode of KickBack: The Global Anticorruption Podcast is now available. (The episode came out a few weeks ago; I apologize for the late announcement, but I’ve been traveling for a bit.) In latest episode, host Liz Dávid-Barrett interviews Shannon Green, Executive Director of USAID’s Anti-Corruption Task Force, about USAID’s new anticorruption strategy, as well as the general challenge of fighting kleptocracies and USAID’s new dekleptification guide. You can also find both this episode and an archive of prior episodes at the following locations:

KickBack was originally founded as a collaborative effort between GAB and the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN). It is now hosted and managed by the University of Sussex’s Centre for the Study of Corruption. If you like it, please subscribe/follow, and tell all your friends!

Specialized Anticorruption Courts: The Updated U4 Paper and Panel

Last month, I posted an announcement regarding a panel, which I moderated, at the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, on specialized anticorruption courts, which was held in conjunction with the release of the updated U4 Issue paper on that topic. (The original paper, which I coauthored with U4 Senior Advisor Sofie Schütte, was published in 2016.) Several readers who were not able to attend the livestream of the panel expressed interest in seeing the video recording, and I am pleased to say that the video is now available here.

The description of the panel, as it appears in the U4 website linked above, is as follows: Continue reading

KickBack is Back! And Under New Management.

As many GAB readers know, in addition to this blog, I’ve been co-running the KickBack anticorruption podcast–in collaboration with Nils Kobis and Christopher Starke of the Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Network (ICRN)–since March 2019. We have all very much enjoyed the opportunity to interview leading anticorruption thinkers and practitioners on the podcast, and to use that platform to share our guests’ insights with the larger anticorruption community. That said, the time had come for us to move on to other projects. But we did not want the podcast to die, and I am pleased to say that it won’t! As of last month, the ICRN and GAB have officially handed over the podcast to the team at Sussex University’s Centre for the Study of Corruption (CSC). I have no doubt that the CSC team will do an excellent job, and I look forward to being a regular listener. I’ve been remiss in announcing this changeover, as well as the first several episodes of KickBack that have been released under CSC’s leadership. Three episodes have gone up in the last month and a half:

  • In the November 4, 2023 episode, Professor Elizabeth David-Barrett, the CSC’s Director, interviews Daniel Kaufmann, currently 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 (among other things) he helped develop the Worldwide Governance Indicators. The conversation covers many topics, but focuses primarily on the emergence and evolution of the concept of “state capture,” with attention to several case studies in countries such as the Balkans, South Africa, the UK and US.
  • In the November 17, 2023 episode, Professor Dan Hough interviews Maggie Murphy, the CEO of the Lewes Football Club and a former Senior Global Advocacy Manager at Transparency International. After discussing her journey from anticorruption campaigning to football management, Maggie discusses the ethical problems affecting football, how these issues exacerbate inequity between the men’s and women’s games, and what an alternative vision for ethical club management could look like.
  • Finally, in the most recent episode, released on December 6, 2023, Professor David-Barrett interviews yours truly! This functioned partly as an official “passing-of-the-torch” episode (and it’s admittedly a bit self-indulgent), as Liz and I discuss the background for the KickBack podcast, why we started it, and why platforms like this might make a valuable contribution. But we also have the opportunity to talk a bit about my advice for up-and-coming corruption researchers, as well some of the themes in my research over the last couple of years, including my theoretical work on incremental versus “big bang” approaches to anticorruption reform, and my coauthored work on anticorruption in nineteenth and early twentieth century U.S. history.
Again, I’m just delighted that the CSC team will be taking the podcast forward over the next several years. I will continue to announce new episodes on the blog, and I look forward to listening and learning.
You can also find the new episodes and an archive of prior episodes at the following locations:

Reminder: Workshop on Specialized Anticorruption Courts Starting Imminently! Join Us on Zoom!

As I mentioned in my announcement last Friday, the Christian Michelsen Institute is hosting hosting a panel today, which I will be moderating. on specialized anticorruption courts, featuring panelists Sofie Schütte, Olha Nikolaieva, Marta Mochulska, and Ivan Gunjic. The panel starts in half an hour (at 8 am US East Coast time/2 pm Bergen time), and it is possible to join by Zoom. I hope some of you out there will join us, as I think, based on the quality of the panelists and the inherent interest of the topic, that it should be a good discussion.

Online Workshop on Specialized Anticorruption Courts

This coming Monday, November 14th, the Christian Michelsen Institute in Bergen, Norway will be hosting a panel on specialized anticorruption courts, which I will be moderating. The outstanding panel includes Sofie Schütte, a Senior Adviser at CMI’s U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre, Olha Nikolaieva, a Legal and Judicial Adviser for USAID, Professor Marta Mochulska of Lviv National University, and Ivan Gunjic, a PhD Candidate at the University of Zurich. The one-hour panel will start at 8 am US East Coast time (2 pm Bergen time), and it is possible to join by Zoom. The official panel description (also available here) is as follows:

Anti-corruption courts are an increasingly common feature of national anti-corruption reform strategies. By mid-2022 the U4 Anti-Corruption Resource Centre at CMI counted 27 such courts across Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe. Reasons for their creation include the resolution of backlogs but also concerns about the ability of ordinary courts to handle corruption cases impartially. While there are no definitive best practices for specialised anti-corruption courts, existing models and experience provide some guidance to reformers considering the creation of similar institutions.

In this panel discussion we launch an update of “Specialised anti-corruption courts: A comparative mapping” and discuss experiences with the establishment of anti-corruption courts in Eastern Europe and Ukraine in particular.

November 2 OSCE Webinar: Asset Recovery and the Concept of Social Reuse

The OSCE Polish Chairpersonship and the Office of the Coordinator of the OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities are holding a series of three webinars on the contribution of the OSCE in preventing corruption and promoting transparency and good governance as part of resilient economic recovery.

The first webinar is entitled:  Innovations in Asset Recovery in the OSCE: The Concept of Social Reuse was held today November 2, 2022, 3:00 to 4:15 pm CET via Zoom webinar.

Opening remarks 

Ms. Courtney Austrian, Deputy Chief of Mission, United States Mission to the OSCE 

Ambassador Igli Hasani, Co-ordinator of OSCE Economic and Environmental Activities 

Ambassador Alena Kupchyna, OSCE Co-ordinator of Activities to Address Transnational Threats 

Speakers: 

Mr. Tristram Hicks, OSCE Asset Recovery Advisor 

Mr. Andrea D’Angelo, Senior Project Manager, Balkan Asset Management Interagency Network (BAMIN) Secretariat  

Ms. Melika Sahinovic, OSCE Expert on Social Re-Use in BiH 

Moderator: Prof. Anita Ramasastry, Special Representative of the OSCE Chairmanship on Combating Corruption 

Asset recovery is a powerful anti-corruption tool ensuring that stolen assets and proceeds of criminal activities are given back to societies and victims of crime.  It remains one of the most effective ways to disrupt serious and organized crime as organized crime groups survive and thrive through illicit financial gains. 

Since 2019, OSCE has been implementing a cross-dimensional project that aims at building the capacities of national authorities and civil society organizations (CSOs) in Southeast Europe and improving regional collaboration in the seizing, confiscating, managing and re-using of criminal assets. Phase II of the project that has just been launched has also been extended to Eastern Europe (Moldova and Ukraine). The project adopts a comprehensive approach to asset recovery and includes three areas of intervention: i) financial investigations, asset seizure and confiscation; ii) asset management; and iii) asset re-use. 

Details for connecting —

Continue reading

Twentieth International Anticorruption Conference December 6-10 in Washington, D.C.

One mark of the progress in putting the fight against corruption on the global agenda is the size and scope of this year’s International Anticorruption Conference. The first one drew less that 200 people, mostly law enforcement personnel from the United States and 12 other nations (here). Organizers expect this year’s — December 6 through 12 in Washington — to attract more than 2,000 representatives of government, civil society, and the private sector from 135+ nations with many more attending virtually.

Jointly organized by Transparency International and the the U.S. government, speakers include: Delia Ferreiro, Chair of the Transparency International Board of Directors; David Malpass, President of the World Bank; Adesina Akinwumi, President of the African Development Bank; Ghada Waly, Executive Director of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime; Samantha Power, Administrator for the United States Agency for International Development; the heads of the Open Government Partnership, the Financial Action Task Force, CIVICS, and the chief executives of several multinational corporations.

The theme of this year’s conference is “Uprooting Corruption, Defending Democratic Values.” Plenary sessions will address the “grand issues:” global security, defending the defenders, kleptocracy and illicit finance.  There will be over 60 workshops, and multiple special thematic events and social gatherings.

More on who is coming, workshop and thematic events, and how to register is here.

Anticorruption Bibliography–October 2022 Update

An updated version of my anticorruption bibliography is now available from my faculty webpage. A direct link to the pdf of the full bibliography is here, and a list of the new sources added in this update is here. Additionally, the bibliography is available in more user-friendly, searchable form at Global Integrity’s Anti-Corruption Corpus website. As always, I welcome suggestions for other sources that are not yet included, including any papers GAB readers have written.