67 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
    • 5.0 • 15 Ratings

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?

    67. Elizabeth David-Barrett on state capture & anti-corruption clubs

    67. Elizabeth David-Barrett on state capture & anti-corruption clubs

    00:00: Introduction and what sparked Liz’s interest in corruption
    02:20: What is state capture (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/State_capture)
    05:16: Liz discusses how state capture has been politically-driven in more recent developments
    08:30: Can we compare state capture to an extreme form of lobbyism? Liz goes deeper into the definition of state capture and hones in on the intentionality aspect of state capture
    10:58: Exposing machine politics: the Brazilian Car Wash Scandal (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Car_Wash ) as a revealing example on the systematic structure of state capture (Liz’s paper)
    14:30: Liz looks into how state capture happens in order to understand how to prevent it
    18:41: The alarming frequency of state capture in developed nations, specifically the U.K.
    24:30: Our roles as citizens and academics to hold public officials accountable
    29:18: Liz elaborates on her work on corruption in public procurement, and discusses how Big Data reveals the prevalence of this corruption (Paper by Liz David-Barrett and Mihály Fazekas https://ace.globalintegrity.org/anti-corruption-in-aid-funded-procurement/)
    33:18: The displacement effect of imposing anti-corruption restrictions on the public procurement process (http://www.govtransparency.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/David-Barrett-Fazekas_Displacement-effects_20180914_GTI-WP-format.pdf)
    34:27: The unintended effects of anticorruption measures. (Paper by Ray Fisman and Miriam Goldman https://www.researchgate.net/publication/327202630_Corruption_What_Everyone_Needs_to_KnowR_by_Ray_Fisman_and_Miriam_A_Golden_Oxford_University_Press_New_York_2017)
    34:50: How anticorruption clubs target systemic corruption (Dive deeper by listening to episode 46 of Kickback with Lola Adekanye)
    43:46: Liz gives recommendations to the research community, particularly young researchers in this area
    46:24: How Liz collects examples of where music and art are used in anti-corruption campaigns, and Liz’s favourite example (Video of Colombian politicians: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nacvZmMwZuo)

    • 49 min
    66. Casey Michel on the American support for kleptocracies across the globe

    66. Casey Michel on the American support for kleptocracies across the globe

    We welcome Casey Michelle, journalist and author of American Kleptocracy: How the US Created the World’s Greatest Money Laundering Scheme in History.

    00:56: Casey’s background and what let his interest in illicit finance, money laundering and kleptocracy
    01:30: Casey discusses living in Kazakhstan as a school teacher and the country’s ex-president Nursultan Nazarbayev’s corrupt government that sparked his interest in the topic (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nursultan_Nazarbayev#Allegations_of_corruption)
    04:40: Matthew and Casey focus in on the provocative title of Casey’s book and what it suggests
    06:21: The reason why Casey wrote his book
    07:40: The three primary dynamics that created American offshore Kleptocracy as a source of income (the role of U.S. states, the treasury’s policy exceptions, and American enablers profiting from the financial flows)
    15:36: Why the U.S. is Casey’s focus and how it compares to offshore havens for kleptocratic money
    21:54: Taking the FinCEN files (https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-54226107) as an example of the scale of ignored suspicious activity reports
    29:27: The role of American lawyers and law firms in illicit wealth
    36:35: Casey highlights the recent movements in Congress to prevent enablers
    39:30: The role of universities and their acceptance of donations from kleptocratic figures. Casey brings in the National Endowment for Democracy May 2021 report on reputation laundering (https://www.ned.org/reputation-laundering-in-the-university-sector-of-open-societies-working-paper/)
    50:15: The long-term development of kleptocracy and money laundering, and honing in on the Trump organization
    56:49: Money laundering as a partisan issue under the Trump organization
    1:04:14: Casey thinks ahead about what we ought to strive for in this space

    • 1 hr 12 min
    65. Dan Hough on integrity and corruption in sports

    65. Dan Hough on integrity and corruption in sports

    Dan Hough is Professor of Politics (Politics), Head of Department of Politics (Politics) at the University of Sussex, founding director of the Center for the Study of Corruption and a football (soccer) aficionado.
    Find out how Dan’s 14th birthday played a pivotal role in him getting interested in corruption research. Spoiler alert, it includes Ben Johnson (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Johnson_(Canadian_sprinter))
    In his early work, Dan studied corruption in German politics, including the donations scandal surrounding former German chancellor Helmuth Kohl (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CDU_donations_scandal).
    Another case that links sports and corruption that Dan mentions, refers to the Andrew Mangan betting scandal (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_div_3/7987807.stm).
    Matthew and Dan discuss why corruption researchers need (more) patience, how the success of different anti-corruption strategies depends on the context and the challenges of democratization and anti-corruption in Kenya.
    The two discuss incremental change in anti-corruption, Dan referring to Willy Brandt’s approach towards the former Soviet Union (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willy_Brandt).
    The interview shifts towards discussing corruption in sports, whether we should care about it in the first place, and how big sports events can lead to “sports washing” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sportswashing).
    Dan outlines the key difference between those who play sports to make money, versus those who make money to play sports, the importance of playing sports the right way to teach integrity.
    Matthew and Dan discuss social norms of corruption (lit review: https://www.elgaronline.com/view/edcoll/9781789904994/9781789904994.00010.xml) and the importance of how you treat referees (great podcast on that issue: https://www.pushkin.fm/episode/ref-you-suck/).
    The interview ends with Dan’s views about the responses to the Qatar2024 World cup and the doping allegations against the Russian Olympic athletes.

    Link to the CIPE award voting: https://t.co/LeTtNiPM6w?amp=1

    • 1 hr 4 min
    64. Michael Johnston on syndromes of corruption and how to tackle them

    64. Michael Johnston on syndromes of corruption and how to tackle them

    We welcome one of the most important voices in the academic (anti-)corruption field: Michael Johnston, Professor Emeritus of Political Science at Colgate University, who has written numerous books on corruption. (https://www.colgate.edu/about/directory/mjohnston).

    The interview covers Michael’s journey of becoming a corruption research pioneer, his conceptual framework of syndromes of corruption and how they might inform anti-corruption policies.
    Matthew and Michael discuss the developments of the anti-corruption “industry” over the past decades and Michael shares his views on the tools most useful to fight corruption: Politics and social networks.
    The interview ends with Michael candidly sharing which views about corruption he has changed his mind about and some advice for (young) anti-corruption scholars and practitioners.

    Further links:
    Michael’s most recent book (with Scott A. Fritzen) “The Conundrum of Corruption” can be found here: https://www.routledge.com/The-Conundrum-of-Corruption-Reform-for-Social-Justice/Johnston-Fritzen/p/book/9780367224547

    Michael refers to research by Lawrence Lessig on institutional corruption, you can find more about it: https://hls.harvard.edu/faculty/directory/10519/Lessig

    • 49 min
    63. Peter Y. Solmssen on cleaning up the Siemens bribery scandal in his role as the general counsel

    63. Peter Y. Solmssen on cleaning up the Siemens bribery scandal in his role as the general counsel

    We welcome Peter Y. Solmssen who serves as the Chairman of the Non-trial Resolutions Subcommittee of the International Bar Association.

    The interview covers his unique role in serving as the general counsel after the allegations of foreign bribery against Siemens surfaced. Peter shares his views on the Siemens case in general and weighs in on why a successful and large company like Siemens developed systematic bribery schemes in the first place. Matthew and Peter discuss the benefits and challenges of administering penalties of foreign bribery not only to companies but also to individuals. Peter describes his wishlist of changes to the FCPA and how bribery schemes increasingly span across national borders need to be combatted.

    For more info on the Siemens scandal: https://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/business/worldbusiness/21siemens.html

    To find out more about Peter and his involvement in negotiating “the first internationally coordinated settlement of multiple foreign bribery prosecutions”, check out his Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Y._Solmssen.

    For a fascinating read about his family’s roots in Germany check out this Die Zeit article (in German): https://www.zeit.de/2010/37/Siemens-Vorstand-Solmssen/komplettansicht

    In March 2017, Peter co-authored the Report “On Combating Corruption and Fostering Integrity “ to the Secretary General of the OECD: https://www.oecd.org/corruption/HLAG-Corruption-Integrity-SG-Report-March-2017.pdf

    Together with Prof. Tina Soreide (https://www.nhh.no/en/employees/faculty/tina-soreide/), Peter has founded and coordinated “The Recommendation 6 Network” a working group consisting academics, lawyers, corporate officers and NGOs: https://www.nhh.no/en/research-centres/corporate-compliance-and-enforcement/about/guidelines-for-non-trial-resolutions/

    • 51 min
    62. Will Fitzgibbon on the work of the ICIJ uncovering the Pandora Papers

    62. Will Fitzgibbon on the work of the ICIJ uncovering the Pandora Papers

    We welcome Will Fitzgibbon (@WillFitzgibbon) to talk about the largest collaborative journalistic efforts on the Pandora Papers, revealing “inner workings of a shadow economy that benefits the wealthy and well-connected at the expense of everyone else.”

    More information on Pandora Papers: https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/global-investigation-tax-havens-offshore/

    Will mentions previous data leaks:
    For more of our content on data leaks, check out our episodes with Frederik Obermaier on the
    Panama Papers https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/6-episode-frederik-obermaier?si=a0c379172d884b3bb74a986cafa5c3dd
    and the FinCen Files https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/39-frederik-obermaier-on-the-fincen-files-revealing-global-money-laundering-systems?si=40fc582fab9b43069087aa87fa4384dd

    Learn how in his work for ICIJ, Will uses artificial intelligence to sift through the massive databases. Will also describes how the impact of data leaks is measured and how the public response to data leaks can spur policy changes. He mentions the protests in Iceland following the Panama Papers:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2016_Icelandic_anti-government_protests.

    Picks of the Podcast:
    Documentary by Kenyian journalists on the revelations within the Pandora Papers about President Kenyatta: https://africauncensored.substack.com/p/watch-our-pandora-papers-documentary
    Washington Post Podcast on the US as a tax haven: https://www.washingtonpost.com/podcasts/post-reports/a-tax-haven-in-americas-heartland/?itid=lk_inline_manual_47
    Video by Scilla Alleci (ICIJ) on environmental harms revealed in the Panama Papers https://www.icij.org/investigations/pandora-papers/solvay-italy-new-jerey-chemical-plants-offshore/

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
15 Ratings

15 Ratings

xanana-gusmao ,

High quality interviews on anticorruption

The best podcast on corruption I know of. Episodes cover a broad range of topics around corruption, the guests are knowledgeable and interesting to listen to, and the interviewers use the right amount of pushback. Always happy to see new episodes. Congrats!

kgowhari ,

Kowsar Gowhari

This podcast provides a deep dive into the complicated topic of corruption, ways to combat it, assessment of last strategies and lessons learned and explores ways forward. I listened to some of the episodes several times. Lots of eye opening discussions! Thanks to the people who produce it!

Aiyshav ,

One of a kind

This podcast is great on so many fronts, I always enjoy listening to it because it not only helps give an overarching glimpse of the research field, but it also brings together scholars and practitioners from very different walks of both scholarship and practice. It also gives context to how corruption affects the real world, outside of the realm of research. Thanks for a terrific job guys.

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