24 episodes

This podcast series features in-depth interviews with a wide range of corruption experts, on questions such as:
What have we learned from 20+ years of (anti)corruption research?
Why and how does power corrupt?
Which theories help to make sense of corruption?
What can we do to manage corruption?
How to recovery stolen assets?

KickBack - The Global Anticorruption Podcast KickBack

    • Science

This podcast series features in-depth interviews with a wide range of corruption experts, on questions such as:
What have we learned from 20+ years of (anti)corruption research?
Why and how does power corrupt?
Which theories help to make sense of corruption?
What can we do to manage corruption?
How to recovery stolen assets?

    23. Andrés Hernández on protest, populism, and the anti-corruption referendum in Colombia

    23. Andrés Hernández on protest, populism, and the anti-corruption referendum in Colombia

    We welcome Andrés Hernández (@hmandres2011), executive director of Transparency International Colombia (Transparencia por Colombia), to this week’s episode of KickBack - The Global Anti-Corruption Podcast.

    1. Corruption in the judiciary system
    The first part of the interview focuses on the challenge of corruption in the Colombian judiciary system. Andrés outlines that according to the latest results of Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer, 40% believe that the judiciary system is strongly affected by corruption (see link to full resource in extra reading, GCB, 2019).
    The two outline how tackling corruption in the judiciary might bring about a trade-off between accountability (e.g. disciplining judges) and judicial independence. Andrés clarifies how independence and opacity are often confused. The two discuss limitations in the current appointment procedures of high ranking public positions at the state level - you can learn the meaning behind the Colombia saying “Yo te llego, tu me ligues”. Andrés outlines how more transparency would help to avoid patronage.

    2. Anti-Corruption Referendum in Colombia
    The second part deals with the consulta popular - best known as the Colombian anti-corruption referendum. Andrés describes the unprecedented mobilization of the Colombian people against corruption resulting in almost 12 million people voting, more votes than the most recent presidential election. Andrés points out that the result of the referendum, although not legally binding, are politically binding to instigate change. Find out why Andrés, even though he was not excited about the concrete content of the seven points of reform, he was still optimistic in the wake of the referendum. (Sidenote: For some fun music input on the referendum Reggaeton de la corrupción (featuring Antanas Mockus), check out the links in the extra reading material)

    3. Potential pitfalls of public outcry against corruption
    At the time when the interview was recorded - December 2019 - protests occurred in Bogotá and other places across Colombia. Reason enough to discuss the potential and pitfalls of anti-corruption protests ongoing. Andrés emphasizes why and how protests can be an important step towards strengthening institutions, yet also the dangers it might bring about that become apparent when observing the changes in Colombia’s neighboring countries.
    Andrés also voices his concern about an international anti-corruption court, why it might distract attention away from structural issues but placing too much hope in sanctions that do not instigate transformation and why it might not be pragmatic to realize. Instead, he argues it would be better to focus limited resources into stronger international capacities, stronger national judiciary systems, and for strengthening the international commitment against transnational crime.

    4. Reflexion on changes in anti-corruption in the last 20 years
    In the final part of the episode, Andrés looks back on the last two decades of anti-corruption efforts in Colombia. He points out how corruption has become more complex, covered up more extensively, and why such new forms of corruption require tools.
    On the positive side, Andrés notes that Colombia now has stronger checks and balances and applauds the more vibrant civil society, brave journalists engaged in anti-corruption.

    • 53 min
    22. Charles Davidson on kleptocracy, beneficial ownership and reputation laundering

    22. Charles Davidson on kleptocracy, beneficial ownership and reputation laundering

    New year This week on KickBack: Charles Davidson former Executive Director of the Kleptocracy Initiative at Hudson Institute, Publisher & CEO of The American Interest Magazine.

    The interview covers how the book Capitalism's Achilles Heel by Raymond Baker inspired Charles’ impressive work. For example Charles was involved in:
    - together with Francis Fukuyama founding of American Interest Magazin: https://www.the-american-interest.com
    - initiating the think tank, “Global Financial Integrity”: https://gfintegrity.org/
    - creating the “The FACT Coalition” which brought together organizations become an activist coalition on issues of corporate transparency. A legislative influence group tackling against beneficial ownership: https://thefactcoalition.org/
    - serving as an executive producer of the movie “We are not broke”, that premiered at Sundance festival: https://werenotbrokemovie.com/
    The interview pursues on more details on beneficial ownership, how International crime and kleptocracy have become an increasing threat to democracy, and the push for greater corporate transparency in the US, spurred by the #PanamaPapers.
    Charles chimes in on the concrete proposal of beneficial ownership registries, how it might depend on the style of capitalism in a given society, outlining that that an important prerequisite consists of law enforcement agencies having access. Charles outlines how the essential element of transparency around beneficial ownership would be making the data available for governments yet also outlines that publicly available information facilitates the work of journalists.
    The next segment deals with the details around kleptocracy and how it is linked to authoritarian regimes. The basic model across several countries is: The regime loots resources at home and then take the money out and store it in the west (using anonymous companies etc.) to safeguard their money, leading the US to become increasingly kleptocratized. Charles outlines the importance of understanding that “The fact that we welcome authoritarian money into the west, means that we are incentivizing authoritarianism.” The two discuss the challenges of preventing kleptocracy and how the Magnitsky act (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnitsky_Act) might provide a first step into that direction. The two describe how corruption for the effectiveness of development aid.
    Finally, the interview covers the concept of reputation laundering, which describes how gifts and donations to educational institutions or museums by oligarchs intend to uphold a positive reputation towards oligarchs. The two unpack the typical step-by-step process for reputation laundering and discuss how universities can protect themselves from such influence.

    Online Articles:

    Human Rights Watch: “The Anniversary that Shouldn't Be: 40 Years of President Obiang in Equatorial Guinea “
    https://www.hrw.org/news/2019/08/03/anniversary-shouldnt-be-40-years-president-obiang-equatorial-guinea

    The Guardian: “Son of equatorial guineas president convicted of corruption in France”
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/oct/27/son-of-equatorial-guineas-president-convicted-of-corruption-in-france

    Books:

    Raymond W. Baker - Capitalism's Achilles Heel: Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free-Market System
    https://www.wiley.com/en-us/Capitalism%27s+Achilles+Heel%3A+Dirty+Money+and+How+to+Renew+the+Free+Market+System-p-9780471644880

    • 54 min
    21. Nils & Christopher on the first year and the future of Kickback

    21. Nils & Christopher on the first year and the future of Kickback

    For this special episode Nils and Christopher sat down to reflect on the first 20 episodes of Kickback and discuss some plans for the 2020.

    For those who want to support us financially to cover our running costs: https://www.patreon.com/kickbackpodcast

    For those who want to follow us via Social Media:
    https://twitter.com/KickbackGAP
    https://www.facebook.com/KickBackGAP

    The Kickback team wishes you a happy holiday season! We look forward to 2020!

    Chapter I - Basics
    1. Susan Rose-Ackerman on the principal-agent theory of corruption
    5. Bo Rothstein on corruption as a collective action problem and long term fixes
    7. Paul Heywood on which questions to ask to gain new insights into the wicked problem of corruption

    Chapter II – Perspectives on Corruption
    12. Oguzhan Dincer on measuring corruption at different levels & historic developments in Turkey
    13. Cristina Bicchieri on social norms of corruption, Antanas Mockus and Soap Operas
    16. Kevin E. Davis on his book "Between Impunity & Imperialism" and fighting transnational bribery
    17. Shaul Shalvi on behavioral ethics and the psychological roots of corruption
    19. Monika Bauhr on need vs. greed corruption and how it is linked to gender

    Chapter III - Regions
    4. Paul Lagunes on transparency 2.0, the importance of citizens for anti-corruption in Latin America
    11. Daria Kaleniuk on the anti-corruption reforms in Ukraine
    14. Kieu Vien on encouraging discussions about corruption & shaping anti-corruption laws in Vietnam
    20. Leonor Ortiz Monasterio & Miguel Meza on anti-corruption in Mexico

    Chapter IV - Journalism
    6. Frederik Obermaier on Panama Papers, Ibiza video & the role of media freedom for anti-corruption
    8. Alina Mungiu-Pippidi on corruption in Romania, democratic transitions, advise for young scholars
    18. David Barboza on investigating the hidden wealth of Chinese elites

    Chapter V - Practitioners
    2. Deltan Dallagnol on leading the prosecution of the Lava Jato investigations in Brazil
    3. Robtel Neajai Pailey on how to teach anti-corruption through children's books
    9. Debra LaPrevotte on being an FBI agent, asset recovery, safe havens for cleptocrats & war crimes
    10. Elise Bean on financial fraud, money laundering and the top 3 policies to curb corruption
    15. Sergei Guriev on the value of governance, inclusion & the internet for anti-corruption efforts

    • 25 min
    20. Leonor Ortiz Monasterio & Miguel Meza on anti-corruption in Mexico

    20. Leonor Ortiz Monasterio & Miguel Meza on anti-corruption in Mexico

    This week on Kickback: Leonor Ortiz Monasterio (https://contralacorrupcion.mx/leonor-ortiz-monasterio/) and Miguel Alfonso Meza (Twitter: @MiguelMezaC). They describe their work for the Anti-Corruption Organization “Mexicanos contra la corrupción y la impunidad” (Mexicans against corruption and impunity, (https://contralacorrupcion.mx/).

    They outline how the anger about corruption inspired them to work for MCCI. They critically evaluate the Anti-Corruption efforts by the new Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador “AMLO” and the new harsher laws against corruption. The refer to their own research of speeches by “AMLO” across different campaigns revealed that, counter to common beliefs, the latest campaign was not the one where he used the word corruption the most and how corruption was rather framed as an ethics issue and not focusing on corrupt networks.

    The three discuss the appointments of the new government, their anti-corruption prosecution efforts, the pros and cons of a clean slate approach to fight corruption.

    The interview closes on Leonor and Miguels’ elevator pitch of what key issues need to be address for anti-corruption.

    • 51 min
    19. Monika Bauhr on need vs. greed corruption and how it is linked to gender

    19. Monika Bauhr on need vs. greed corruption and how it is linked to gender

    Our guest this week is Monika Bauhr, Associate Professor at the Quality of Government at the University
    of Gothenburg (https://tinyurl.com/s37x2lp).

    The interview kicks off with Monika describing how her work on climate change led her to get interested in corruption, showing how the technical solutions for Climate change were known but that it often lacked political will to implement them. The interview further covers Monika’s three main areas of interest:

    1. Transparency
    Monika was inspired by the diverse effects of transparency on corruption. In her work she has zoomed in on when transparency succeeds to lower corruption and when it can conversely lead to a
    demoralization effect.

    2. Types of corruption
    Monika bemoans that frequently the average effects of corruption (such as the country level Corruption Perception Index) are used as a measure of corruption. She argues that more refined measures, distinguishing between corruption types is needed. Monika’s work has particularly focused on the distinction between need vs. greed corruption (see https://tinyurl.com/vwgjryo). The interview also
    points out the challenges to operationalize these different forms of corruption.

    3. Gender and corruption
    Monika’s third main field of interest lies on the link between gender and corruption, inspired by one of the most consistent finding that the share of women in government lowers petty corruption. Monika
    and Matthew discuss different theories help to explain the multifaceted ways in which gender and corruption are related.

    • 47 min
    18. David Barboza on investigating the hidden wealth of Chinese elites

    18. David Barboza on investigating the hidden wealth of Chinese elites

    This week on KickBack: Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times correspondent David Barboza (Twitter: @DavidBarboza2).

    The interview begins with a deep dive into David’s famous investigation into the vast wealth of the Chinese elite. You can read the NYT articles in the Archive here: https://tinyurl.com/ygh8xhz9. David outlines the challenges and unexpected breaks in investigating such highly sensitive topics while being tracked by the government, involving a strict “no phone call” policy, as well as the very real dangers he and his faced in pursuing the story.

    David outlines the reasons why even though the original article merely describes the amassing wealth was met with extensive attempts to prevents its publication. The explanation shows that having extensive wealth is often seen as a sign of corruption, as historically allegations of corruption spurred the famous 1989 Tiananmen square demonstrations (see https://tinyurl.com/y5ck7vr3). David shares insights into how the system of dealings among the elites works and how each year 200,000 public officials are brought down for corruption. David provides a history of how the norms around business activities of political leaders and their families changed since the end of the 1980s, how hidden ownership and plausible deniability from the sides of Western companies plays a role.

    In the last part of the interview, Matthew and David discuss the developments since the publication of the seminal investigation and how the anti-corruption efforts by Xi Jingping differ from other anti-corruption efforts.

    • 54 min

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