IEE Newsletter No. 24

News: First Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Forum in Amsterdam

Annika Engelbert reports on an interdisciplinary conference that she co-organized.

As a member of the network of young researchers on corruption in Germany (KorrWiss), recent PhD IDS graduate, Annika Engelbert, has co-organized the first interdisciplinary forum "How to research corruption" with Oksana Huss (University of Duisburg-Essen), Nils Köbis, Corinna Martin (both VU Amsterdam), and Anna Schwickerath (University of Düsseldorf). In cooperation with the VU Amsterdam's Department of Experimental and Applied Psychology and funded by the Dutch Science Foundation (NWO), the event took place on June 17-18, 2016, at the Volkshotel Amsterdam. With an emphasis on methods to research corruption, the forum aimed to provide opportunities for junior researchers to exchange ideas, explore new paths, and discuss chances and challenges in studying corruption.
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The forum brought together 50 participants from 26 countries and various disciplinary backgrounds (see group picture above). As a mix between a traditional conference setting and interactive workshops (see picture below), the event covered keynote speeches, presentations on individual research projects, as well as working groups tackling specific research problems regarding corruption. Participants provided introductory presentations of qualitative, quantitative, and experimental approaches pertinent to their research questions, and discussed these methodological choices in small working groups. During the second day, workshop topics focused on research puzzles and concrete questions, aiming to find appropriate methods to address these questions.
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Furthermore, established professors and experts offered valuable insights into their work: Shaul Shalvi (University of Amsterdam) presented a behavioral ethics approach to researching corruption, while Nikos Passas (International Anti-Corruption Academy/Northeastern University, Boston) and Bo Rothstein (University of Oxford) focused on anti-corruption research and its potential leverage and shortcomings. Dieter Zinnbauer, Senior Program Manager at the leading NGO Transparency International, added a practitioner's perspective to the question of which topics would need to be more thoroughly researched in the area of corruption.
Besides groupwork and presentations, the forum offered ample space for discussions among the participants over coffee breaks and lunch in the truly inspiring atmosphere of the Volkshotel – a place where people come not only for accommodation, but also to work together, play music, or get a haircut in the lobby. We all enjoyed a well-deserved city walk after the first conference day around sunny Amsterdam, delicious food in a hip market hall, and some dancing in the evening. Due to the great success of the conference, the concluding workshop on the future of the forum called for a continuation of the experience: The next Interdisciplinary Corruption Research Forum will be held in Paris in 2017. Young researchers are very welcome to join the network via facebook or find contact details on our website. German-speaking junior scholars are also cordially invited to become members of the KorrWiss network (subscribe to the mailing list through korrwiss-subscribe(at) which regularly holds informal colloquia.

EngelbertAnnika Engelbert, PhD
PhD IDS graduate
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: +49 (0)234 / 32-25267
Fax: +49 (0)234 / 32-14421

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