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Corruption research launch

Banking scandals, pension frauds, tax evasion, MPs’ expenses, vote-rigging, bribery. What is the real impact of corruption, and how can we fight it?

A new research centre at the University of Sussex has launched, to study corruption in business, politics, the law and public life and seek out new ways to combat it. The Sussex Centre for the Study of Corruption (SCSC) joined forces with the anti-corruption body Transparency International UK and the law firm Clifford Chance ata conference at the Clifford Chance offices in Canary Wharf on September 6 and 7.

Speakers included:

Sir Christopher Kelly, head of the committee on standards in public life in the UK, on the challenge of upholding standards in complex democracies;
John Githongo, the former permanent secretary for ethics and governance in Kenya, on his anti-corruption experiences, which led to him having to flee the country.

The SCSC involves the work of Sussex academics from across the disciplines, including Law, Sociology, Politics, Psychology, Anthropology and Development Studies. Other speakers included ex-SOCA head Bill Hughes and Nick Kochan author of Corruption, The New Corporate Challenge.

Dr Dan Hough, Reader in Politics at the University of Sussex and Director of SCSC, says: “Corruption has been around for as long as people have organised themselves, but never has it come under the spotlight as much as it does now.

“Individual cases have always been high profile, but the sheer number of corrupt acts that have been reported in recent times is unprecedented.”

The conference coincides with the publication of Dr Hough’s new book, Corruption, Anti-Corruption and Governance, (Palgrave Macmillan), which looks at anti-corruption approaches in the UK, Germany, Poland, South Korea, Kenya and Bangladesh.

Dr Hough’s book analyses under which conditions particular anti-corruption strategies and policies are most likely to work best.

The catalyst for setting up the SCSC, says Dr Hough, was the MPs’ expenses scandal: “The disconnect between what the wider world saw as corrupt and what the rules and regulations permitted for MPs, who simply claimed that all they were doing was following the rules as they were laid down, was subsequently very revealing.

“It made us realise that there was plenty of scope for academia to contribute to analysing the three questions that have subsequently come to shape the SCSC’s work; what is corruption, what subsequently causes it and most importantly what can be done about it?”

The SCSC will also be running a one-year masters programme in Corruption and Governance, starting in September 2012.


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