Research

Working papers:

Nikolas Kirby, An ‘Institution First’ Conception of Public Integrity, May 2018, Building Integrity Working Paper.
Corruption threatens institutional trust, legitimacy and development across the world. However, conceptual and empirical challenges surrounding corruption often lead to ineffective solutions. In response, Nikolas Kirby presents a new conception of public integrity: a more praiseworthy, and robust governance goal. Outlining the conceptual structure of public integrity, Kirby demonstrates how we can pursue governance practices that go beyond simply addressing corruption and towards establishing institutions that are truly worthy of trust.
Robinson, Thomas, Lucinda Cadzow and Nikolas Kirby, Investigating Integrity: A Multi-Disciplinary Literature Review, May 2018, Building Integrity Working Paper.
For a concept that is so widely used, the lack of scholarly consensus with respect to the meaning of integrity is striking. To better understand the foundational concept underpinning public integrity, this working paper investigates the academic treatment of integrity across seven disciplines: public administration, organizational science, sociology, political science, law, philosophy and international relations. The review focuses on two distinct questions: how is the concept of integrity deployed across a broad range of disciplines; and, what can be learned from these disciplines about the concept of integrity?
Curbing Corruption in Azerbaijan: The case of ASAN, November 2017, Building Integrity Working Paper.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Azerbaijan inherited a corrupt and nepotistic bureaucracy. In 2012 a public institution called ASAN was created with a remit to provide diverse public services from registering births to issuing customs declarations. This paper discusses some of ASAN’s innovations, such as ASAN imza (easy signature), which allows citizens to use a mobile phone as an electronic ID. It also considers how institutions within systemically corrupt contexts can contribute to incremental change.
Robert Klitgaard, On Culture and Corruption, July 2017, Blavatnik School of Government Working Paper, BSG017/020.
Robert Klitgaard tackles the thorny issue of cultural types that tend to be linked to high levels of corruption. This is the case for cultures that place especially strong emphasis on family values, for example. But if culture is linked to corruption, should policymakers aim for cultural change? In arguing for a reframing of the issue, Klitgaard explains the merits of “convening”: bringing together locals with tacit knowledge of cultural value systems with those who are clued into corruption data and theories.

Presentations:

Nikolas Kirby, “What does ‘public integrity’ mean?”, April 2018.
Nikolas Kirby presents a lecture on his new concept of public integrity at the Third International Integrity Conference.
Robert Klitgaard, “Building Integrity: Learning from Success”, June 2017.
Robert Klitgaard delivered a lecture about drawing lessons from careful analysis of examples of positive change. View the full video to hear him discuss institutions that have managed to raise their level of public integrity.