The British Academy has appointed Paul Heywood (Sir Francis Hill Professor of European Politics at the University of Nottingham) to lead on its global anti-corruption research project. The announcement was made today, Wednesday 9 December, to coincide with International Anti-corruption Day.
The circa £4 million scheme was launched in March 2015 in partnership with the Department for International Development (DFID). The scheme will enable outstanding research teams to identify new initiatives that can help developing countries tackle the scourge of corruption and the negative impact it has on millions of people's lives. This DFID-British Academy partnership is one component of the DFID-funded 'Anti-Corruption Evidence' (ACE) programme.
An announcement on the projects to be funded under the BA scheme is expected to be confirmed in January 2016.
Paul Heywood said: 'Everybody agrees corruption is hugely damaging, especially in the developing world. But efforts to combat corruption over recent decades have seen very disappointing results. One reason is that too often we have adopted a rather simplistic approach to corruption, trying to find some kind of measurable 'amount' or 'level' in particular countries and suggesting 'one size fits all' solutions. But corruption is complex, and takes different forms in different places, both within countries and also transnationally.
"Only through more detailed and focused interdisciplinary work, involving academic researchers working closely with anti-corruption policy-makers and activists, will we develop the kinds of insights we need to make a real difference. The projects in this programme are designed to help us understand how anti-corruption interventions can work better."
Lord Stern, President of the British Academy, said: "Tackling endemic corruption is an enormous international challenge that blights far too many countries. We are confident this new research can produce new approaches and tools to help them to tackle it. It is one of the most worthwhile ways that a country like the UK can offer them practical support."
"The British Academy is delighted to partner DfID on such an important international project, which we believe can make a real difference to improving people's lives and prospects in a range of different countries. The hunt is now on for world-leading research groups with a strong track record in rigorous analytical research of this kind to work with us in tackling this huge challenge."
Find out more about the British Academy's Anti-Corruption work here.