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?
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.
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
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/
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:
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/
61. Fernanda Odilla & Anwesha Chakraborty on anti-corruption technologies in Brazil and India
This week we welcome Fernanda Odilla (@fe_odilla) and Anwesha Chakraborty (@anwesha8984) to talk about their research on how to use technology to assist bottom-up anti-corruption efforts. You can find more about their and Alice Mattoni’s work via https://site.unibo.it/bit-act/en/team/researchers
What we cover in the podcast:
Alice Mattoni’s BIT-ACT project, find more about it in our previous podcast with Alice: https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/56-alice-mattoni-on-the-potential-of-digital-media-for-social-movements-against-corruption
Fernanda mentions the car wash (“Lava Jato”) scandal and its backlash, find out more about it from the lead prosecutor Deltan Dallagnol (https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/2-episode-deltan-dallagnol and https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/55-michael-mohallem-on-lava-jato-and-anti-corruption-efforts-in-brazil
7:45 Whether the hype around digital tools to fight corruption are justified
Anwesha mentions the Ipaidabribe website, you can find it here: http://www.ipaidabribe.com/
Which was founded by janaagraha, center for citizenship & democracy: https://www.janaagraha.org/home/
To find out about one of the tool that Fernanda’s does research research on, Operation love serenade, you can check out our previous episode with the founder Irio Musskopf: https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/33-irio-musskopf-on-using-artificial-intelligence-to-fight-corruption
18:08 on the challenge to keep citizens engaged in collective action and whether the projects use a naming and shaming approach
Fernanda mentions Operation Supervised Politics (in Portuguese): https://www.ops.net.br/
27:25 on whether reporting platforms can backfire by indicating high descriptive norms
35:19 on how corruption fights back against anti-corruption and whether the problem is bigger on the local or national level
43:19- 43:31: quote → not only transparency….
45:10: Anwesha and Fernanda sketch a utopian future how technology could help to reduce corruption
54:15 Picks of the podcast:
Fernanda: Documentary about art forgery, called Made you look https://www.netflix.com/de/title/81406333
Book about Odebrecht: https://www.livrariadavila.com.br/a-organizacao--a-odebrecht-e-o-esquema-de-corrupcao-que-chocou-o-mundo-725368/p
Anwesha: a documentary called An insignificant Man (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk-DlWrZsMg) that plays out like a political thriller
And Bad Boy Billionaires https://www.netflix.com/de/title/80990073
60. Kate Bateman on the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
We welcome Kate Bateman, @katebatemandc), senior expert in the Afghanistan program of the United States Institute of Peace (https://www.usip.org/regions/asia/afghanistan), formerly in the Lessons Learned Program at Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (www.sigar.mil)
Quarterly report by SIGAR: https://www.sigar.mil/quarterlyreports/index.aspx?SSR=6
Corruption lessons learned report : https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-16-58-LL.pdf
Building the ANDSF lessons learned report: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-17-62-LL.pdf
most recent Lesson Learned report “What We Need to Learn,” distilling the insights of previous reports: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/lessonslearned/SIGAR-21-46-LL.pdf
Books by Sarah Chayes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarah_Chayes#Books_and_other_works
Previous Kickback Episode on the role of Corruption in Afghanistan: https://soundcloud.com/kickback-gap/59-jodi-vittori-on-corruption-and-the-us-military-operation-in-afghanistan
Recommended Podcast from Kate: https://www.cna.org/news/podcast Episodes 96 and 97.
59. Jodi Vittori on corruption and the US military operation in Afghanistan
We welcome Jodi Vittori, Professor of the Practice and Concentration Co-Chair for Global Politics and Security at Georgetown University and military veteran to the pod to talk about the role of corruption in Afghanistan.
Warlord Inc. Report: https://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/HNT_Report.pdf
Goldwater-Nichols Act: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goldwater-Nichols_Act
2:45: what got Jodi interested in corruption
6:53: on what went wrong in Afghanistan even though the problem of widespread corruption has been acknowledged not just by (anti-)corruption experts
15:05: Jodi provides a history of military doctrines and outlines what the doctrine for Afghanistan should have been
27:50: on whether and how it is possible to reform (foreign) governance
32:15: Jodi discusses what the ideal timing is to implement good government reforms
38:53: On whether a hands-on versus hands-off approach is better able to tackle corruption post-conflict regions
47:55: a discussion about what militaries can and cannot/should not be doing
54:30: Jodi looks ahead and summarizes the key lessons drawn about the link between corruption and security from Afghanistan.
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!
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!
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.