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Frisco award for Mike Levi

Mike Levi, Cardiff University Professor of Criminology and an authority on counter-fraud, was presented with the 2014 Sellin-Glueck award for comparative and international criminology – the highest award given by The American Society of Criminology to scholars from outside the USA.

Now in its 40th year, the Thorsten Sellin and Sheldon and Eleanor Glueck Award aims to draw attention to criminological scholarship that considers problems of crime and justice outside the United States. Professor Levi found out in May that he would receive the award due to his ‘truly remarkable contributions to international and comparative criminology’. The award was presented at the Society’s international conference in San Francisco last week.

Levi says: “European criminology is making tremendous advances, but the American Society of Criminology is the largest and oldest gathering of criminologists in the world. If one is going to get an award, then San Francisco is a choice location! The areas I research are particularly difficult to get valid or indeed any data on so it is particularly gratifying to get an award from the most prestigious and quantitatively oriented Criminology Society.”

He travelled to San Francisco from New York, where he recently presented a paper on money laundering data at a symposium at New York University Law School. This paper looked at the development of indicators on illicit activities, emphasising the importance of underlying interpretation of the meaning and value of data.

Meanwhile last month he spoke at a first anti-corruption forum by the Korean Institute of Criminology (KIC) in the Republic of Korea, which began with encouragement from the Korean Prime Minister. This arose from public distrust of official corruption symbolised by the loss of lives in the Korean ferry disaster.

Established in 1989, KIC is the only national crime and criminal justice research agency in the Republic of Korea. Since 1999, it has been an entity within the Office of the Prime Minister. The institute conducts investigations and research on organised crime, corruption and criminal law, publishing more than 50 research reports each year.

Levi noted that apart from the UK and USA, most self-assessments by OECD countries showed unimaginative efforts at public and at private sector engagement in the anti-bribery process. It was important in Korea to increase not just the prosecution profile against individuals as well as companies, but also to improve whistle-blower and public monitoring of corruption, and to use the risks of huge corporate sanctions creatively to push for competitive integrity rather than the corporate ‘race to the bottom’.

“It is a privilege to have been asked to speak at this inaugural anti-corruption forum in Korea. Having the chance to share the results of my research more widely, and at such a high level event, is another stepping stone in the fight against corruption.”


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