UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES)



Key Facts

  • ANTICORRP is a large-scale research project funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Program and its largest social sciences' grant (€10 million).
  • The full name of the project is 'Anticorruption Policies Revisited: Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption'.
  • The central objective of ANTICORRP is to investigate factors that promote or hinder the development of effective anti-corruption policies.
  • The project started in March 2012 and will last for five years. The project consists of 21 research groups in 16 EU countries.
  • The project combines global scope with local expertise, using quantitative methods to identify 'over-performing' and 'under-performing' countries in relation to their progress towards less corrupt governance regimes.
  • Special emphasis is placed on EU member states, accession and neighbourhood countries, and developing countries that receive significant EU aid.

UCL's Role

Professor Alena Ledeneva is leader of Pillar 3 - one of four main pillars of the project - which investigates the links of corruption with media and organised crime and focuses on the implications of policy outcomes for specific professional and social groups. It also examines the social and fiscal costs of corruption. She also supervises work packages WP6 and WP9.

Dr Andrew Wilson takes part in research into governance improvement, specifically the positive case of Georgia and the negative case of Ukraine.

Dr Seán Hanley and Dr Allan Sikk are contributing to work on channels of democratic accountability, focusing in particular on anti-corruption and anti-establishment platforms of new political parties across Central and Eastern Europe using a blend of qualitative and quantitative methods.

In addition, there are two research associates working on the project. Dr Roxana Bratu coordinates the activity of ANTICORRP at UCL. She works on integrity, corruption, transnational aid flows and entrepreneurship in Romania, Ukraine and other former soviet countries. Dr Philipp Köker works together with Dr Sikk and Dr Hanley on research into new political parties and electoral mobilisation against corruption in Europe and assists with the dissemination of findings.

Dr Elena Denisova-Schmidt is currently a FP7 Visiting Fellow at SSEES. Her work concerns corruption and informal practices in Russia and Ukraine, focusing on the educational sector and the business environment.

The FP7 project will run for five years from March 2012 to March 2017.

ANTICORRP News & Events

ANTICORRP Seminar Series on Innovations in Corruption Studies – New events in 2016

After the success of the first part of the seminar series ‘Innovations in Corruption Studies in Europe and beyond’ presented jointly by FP7 ANTICORRP, the Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration and the Slavonic and East European Review, we are pleased to announce the schedule of events for the spring term 2016. Unless otherwise indicated, seminars take place Wednesdays, 1-2pm in room 433 at UCL SSEEs and are followed by tea/coffee and a light sandwich lunch. No registration is required. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Philipp Köker (p.koeker@ucl.ac.uk) or download the seminar schedule here.

More about the series >

New Seminar Series on Innovations in Corruption Studies in Europe and beyond at UCL SSEES

An exciting new seminar series under the title ‘Innovations in Corruption Studies in Europe and beyond’ will start next week at University College London – School of Slavonic and East European Studies (SSEES). The series, presented jointly by theUCL ANTICORRP team, the SSEES Centre for European Politics, Security and Integration (CEPSI) and the Slavonic and East European Review, will bring together speakers from ANTICORPP partner institutions across Europe and showcase research conducted as part of the project at UCL and elsewhere. In addition, the series will prepare for the launch of a SEER special issue on innovations in corruption studies edited by Professor Alena Ledeneva (to be published January 2017), a key deliverable of the project.

More about the series >

New ANTICORRP Deliverable (WP 4): Outcomes of ethnographic research conducted in Italy, Hungary, Bosnia, Turkey, Kosovo, Russia, Tanzania, Mexico

This deliverable develops a novel approach to the study of corruption in public administrations by focusing on the analysis of ethnographic field data. In spite of the considerable volume of literature on corruption in the social sciences, contributions by anthropologists are still relatively scarce. The deliverable relies on first-hand ethnographic data from different contexts to investigate the social and cultural factors that underline citizens’ perception of the damages as well as of the benefits of corruption practices. The second main innovative feature of this deliverable is that it develops, within the scope of the ANTICORRP research project, a comparative framework to analyse data from the different countries under investigation.


New ANTICORRP Deliverable (WP1): State-of-the-art report on theories and harmonised concepts of corruption

Corruption is what in the social sciences is known as an “essentially contested concept”. From the perspective of carrying in empirical research of what constitute successful anti-corruption policies this is certainly a problem. However, it should be underlined that the concept of corruption shares this problem with many, if not most, central concepts in the social sciences. To make this point, it should suffice to mention other central concepts like power, democracy, inequality, accountability, interest and representation, just to mention a few. Almost all things of interest in the world of social science are by definition “intangibles” since they mainly concern abstract principles or relations between agents and are therefore difficult to observe and measure.

Download the report

New ANTICORRP Deliverable (WP4): Report on institutional performance and corruption in Bosnia, Kosovo, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Russia, Tanzania, Turkey

The report draws on ethnographic research undertaken in 8 countries which are the object of investigation by WP4 partners, namely: Italy, Hungary, Bosnia, Russia, Turkey, Kosovo, Tanzania and Mexico. An additional chapter (Annex 2) will render the case of Japan which will serve as a contrast on which to assess ideas and practices of governance and institutional performance through an anthropological perspective. The report includes data gathered through a questionnaire survey undertaken, with minor differences, in all the eight countries included in WP4. The data analyzed comparatively refer to three main fields: perceived and experienced performance of local institutions, local problem and resolution ideas, sociocultural norms and values. We have identified, following the anthropological literature, a number of cultural issues that are in relation with corruption, or with local citizens’ experiences of the functioning of public institutions in their countries. This first WP4 deliverable constitutes an attempt to draw some preliminary conclusions on the interaction between sociocultural features and governance (both as experienced and perceived) which will be further and ethnographically explored in the final deliverable of this Working Package.

Download the report

New ANTICORRP Publication: Mungui-Pippidi, Alina (ed.) (2014) “Volume 2: The Anticorruption Frontline”, Barbara Budrich Publishing

From Turkey to Egypt, Bulgaria to Ukraine, and Brazil to India, we witness the rise of an angry urban middle class protesting against what they see as fundamental corruption of their political regimes, perceived as predatory and inefficient. Corruption is near the top of all global protesters’ list of grievances – from the Occupy movement to the Arab Spring. There is increasing demand for good governance resulting in quality education and health systems, and denunciation of sheer bread and circus populism. Volume 2 of the ANTICORRP Anticorruption Report tackles these issues by exploring key cases and developments.

Book Details

Download executive summary (PDF)

Ukraine Crisis
Past Events

“The Intricacies of Accountability: Horizontal, Vertical and Diagonal Mechanisms to Combat Corruption” ANTICORRP Work Package 11 workshop at the ECPR Joint Session in Warsaw, 29 Mar – 2 Apr 2015

The ANTICORRP Work Package 11 (Building accountability: transparency, civil service and administrative responses) will hold a workshop on the topic “The Intricacies of Accountability: Horizontal, Vertical and Diagonal Mechanisms to Combat Corruption” as part of the ECPR Joint Sessions in Warsaw, 29 March – 2 April 2015. Workshops are closed gatherings of 15-20 participants, which last for about five days. Topics of discussion are precisely defined, and only scholars currently working in the Workshop’s field, and with a Paper or research document for discussion, are invited to participate. This format, unique to the ECPR, means that the Joint Sessions have become a leading forum for substantive discussion and collaboration between political science scholars from across the world, and at all stages of their career.

Workshop Description

Keynote speech by Professor Alena Ledeneva at the 14th Annual Aleksanteri Conference

22-24 October 2014



On 24 October 2014 Professor Alena Ledeneva gave a keynote speech entitled “Russia’s Practical Norms and Informal Governance: Modernisation v. Corruption” at the conference 14th Annual Conference of the Aleksanteri Institute of the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies. This year the conference was held under the title “Restructuring State and Society in Russia”. 

'Shifting Attitudes: Radical Upheaval and its Legacies'

28-29 June 2013



A multitude of factors have been considered as instigators or root causes of the 2008 global financial crisis, and there has been considerable hand-wringing about the obduracy and the growing indelibility of the Crisis and its effects, and a plethora of research into its causes and effects.  In order to address this crucial area, we are hosting at the IAS a conference discussion in 2013 that will focus on “changing attitudes” from an array of perspectives.

The BEARR Trust Annual Lecture 2013: "Can Russia Modernise"

25 June 2013

One Exchange Square, London

The BEARR Trust Annual Lecture was hosted by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The Head of Communications at EBRD, Jonathan Charles, welcomed the guests and moderated the questions. The event was under the Chatham House rule.

The lecture was followed by a reception, to allow for further discussion and networking with others with an interest in the field.

"Corruption, Anti-Corruption, Public Service and the Future of the State"

24 June 2013

Goodenough College
John Smith Memorial Trust Fellowship Programme for the Former Soviet Union countries

EIPA Leaning and Development seminar: "EU-Russia Relations: mutual challenges, risks and opportunities"

20-21 June 2013

European External Action Service (EEAS), Brussels

Roundtable: "Taboos on Corruption"

14 June 2013

King's Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Training Centre (KISS-DTC)

'Russian Legal Battles in London'

Thursday 6 June 2013


Pushkin House, London

What are the wider ramifications for Russia and Britain of so many high-profile Russian legal battles being fought in the UK?  Come and hear the issues debated by senior specialists with exceptional first-hand experience, and have your own questions answered about this important and contentious subject. 

The panel will be chaired by Sir Anthony Colman, the judge in the Abramovich-Berezovsky pre-trial.  Speakers will include Robert Brown of Corker Binning, a senior extradition lawyer, Rupert D’Cruz, barrister and Secretary of the British-Russian Law Association, Professor Alena Ledeneva, Professor of Politics at UCL, whose research focuses on corruption and economic crime, and Vladislav Zabrodin, Managing Partner of the Moscow-based law firm Capital Legal Services International.

Polish event: 'Recapturing Post-Communist Reluctant Radicals'

22 April 2013


"Anti-corruption theory and practice: corrupted systems, double standards and informal administration" NIS lecture

2 April 2013


Book Launch: Can Russia Modernise? : Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance'

27 March 2013

Carnegie Moscow Center

Launch of Professor Alena Ledeneva's book: Can Russia Modernise ? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Book Launch: Can Russia Modernise? : Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance'

27 March 2013

Sciences Po, Paris

Launch of Professor Alena Ledeneva's book: Can Russia Modernise ? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Discussant: Marie Mendras, CNRS/CERI-Sciences Po, PSIA Faculty

Chair: Ghassan Salamé, Dean, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA)

Book Launch: Can Russia Modernise? : Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance'

18 March 2013


Launch of Professor Alena Ledeneva's book: Can Russia Modernise ? Sistema, Power Networks and Informal Governance, Cambridge University Press, 2013.

Adrian Stones

14 March 2013

Adrian Stone is a Director of Alaco.

His work typically involves an eclectic mix of intelligence-driven assignments for corporate clients and private investors.  He regularly handles assignments in sub-Saharan Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the former Soviet Union, particularly where there is a political dimension to the work.  He travels frequently to Moscow, Washington and New Delhi. 

Lord Triesman: 'Corruption in Sport'

8 March 2013

Lord Triesman is Shadow Spokesperson (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs).

Frederik Galtung

7 March 2013

Fredrik Galtung is the chief executive of Integrity Action.

Over the past 20 years, Fredrik has consulted on strategic corruption control in more than forty countries, working with governments, international organisations (Council of Europe, World Bank, UN secretariat, UNDP, UNESCO, Unicef, UN Office of Drugs and Crime, etc.), several companies, foundations and governments and development agencies. Fredrik is considered one of the foremost experts on measurements and metrics pertaining to corruption, fraud and organizational integrity.

Transparency International 'Ambient Accountability' Workshop

17-18 February 2013


Laurence Cockcroft

31 January 2013

Laurence Cockcroft is a development economist whose interest and commitment to development in Africa has lasted since his first experience in Nigeria as a volunteer (VSO) in 1962.

Tackling Corruption in a Globalized World

15 January 2013


Chatham House, London

Corruption plays a pivotal role in many of the world’s most pressing issues - from mass poverty in developing countries to the over-exploitation of natural resources to the erosion of trust in political parties. The panel will identify the main drivers of corruption worldwide and assess the current forms of action to control it, including the role of the G20 Anti-Corruption Working Group.

2012 Sakharov Debate: Dissent Today as the Art of the Impossible

6 December 2012


Europe House, 32 Smith Square, London

This year, one year on from the death of Václav Havel, and in the light of a contemporary reinvention of dissident practice in the Arab Spring, the Occupy Movement, Charter 08 in China, and the neo-dissidence of Pussy Riot and others in Russia, we have formulated topics for discussion that pick up on themes from Havel: dissent as the ‘art of the impossible’ and as a point of intersection between politics and aesthetics.