Making Anti-Corruption Real: how to stop wasting money and start making progress

Hosted by the Department of International Development

Online public event


Professor Mushtaq Khan

Professor Mushtaq Khan

Professor of Economics, SOAS

Dr Dan Honig

Dr Dan Honig

Associate Professor, School of Public Policy, UCL


Professor James Putzel

Professor James Putzel

Professor of Development Studies

Cancelled due to UCU strike action

Anti-corruption needs a radical rethink. After decades of effort, the massive costs of corruption continue to harm many countries, and corruption appears to be increasing in some. Even worse, anti-corruption efforts have often been corrupted, with anti-corruption and enforcement agencies extracting from citizens or using their powers to harass and pick up the opposition.

Why have anti-corruption efforts not delivered stronger results, particularly when they seem to work in some countries? Conventional anti-corruption approaches focus on strengthening transparency and accountability but often ignore the problem of enforcement. If effective actors with an interest in using these systems are missing, corruption will not be reduced. Anti-corruption strategies are therefore only effective if they include additional components that can help trigger 'checking activities' by sufficiently powerful self-interested actors.


Mushtaq Khan is a Professor of Economics at SOAS University of London, and Chief Executive Director of the FCDO (UK government)-funded Anti-Corruption Evidence Research Consortium. He is a leading thinker on political settlements, economic development, governance, industrial policy, institutional economics, political economy, the economics of rent seeking, patron-client networks, anti-corruption, late industrialization, and effective policy implementation. He has written and researched in many countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Thailand, Palestine, South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, India, Cambodia, Pakistan, and Malaysia.


Dan Honig is Associate Professor of Public Policy at University College London's School of Public Policy/Department of Political Science. His research focuses on the relationship between organizational structure, management practice, and performance in developing country governments and organizations that provide foreign aid. His book, Navigation by Judgment: Why and When Top-Down Control of Foreign Aid Won't Work was published in 2018 with Oxford University Press and he is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Mission Driven Bureaucrats, focused on how best to attract, retain, and cultivate mission-oriented motivation in public servants worldwide.


James Putzel is Professor of Development Studies and served as the Director of the Crisis States Research Centre. He headed the Centre's research programme on Crisis States, which was funded by the Department for International Development of the UK government. 

This talk is part of the Cutting Edge Issues in Development Thinking & Practice 2022 series, a high-profile lecture series run by the Department of International Development at LSE and organised by Dr Laura Mann and Professor in Practice Duncan Green.

The Department of International Development promotes interdisciplinary postgraduate teaching and research on processes of social, political and economic development and change. 

Twitter Hashtag for this series: #CuttingEdge2022


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