Tackling Corruption and Establishing Standards in Public Life (0173)

Venue: Corpus Christi College

Location: Oxford,

Event Date/Time: Mar 16, 2002 End Date/Time: Mar 21, 2002
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Fighting corruption has become all too essential an element in ensuring – and building - sound democratic governance the world over. This is recognized by civil society groups, NGOs, parliamentarians, democracy activists, and even international agencies such as the World Bank, OECD and the UN. It is seen as a key explanation for growing voter apathy and cynicism in advanced democracies, and poor economic and political development in emerging democracies.

There have been significant advances in the measurement of corruption, the institutions of restraint and the demands for accountability. Debates now focus on how transparency can be improved, what are the best means for ensuring accountability, how do we educate those involved in corruption, and who should be guarding the guardians, and how. This seminar will ask if the new ‘anti-corruption’ industry has itself been taken over by Western corporate interests, why the normal agencies of restraint such as courts and ombudsmen are not up to the task, and if the spate of general anti-corruption declarations, agreements and acts, are making any difference.

After briefly reviewing key issues involved, including ‘accountability’, ‘transparency’ and ‘capture’, each day will have an overarching theme – strengthening agencies of restraint, empowering the voiceless, educating business and banks, fighting political corruption – encompassing talks from those with practical experience in the field, discussions, workshops, short ‘insight’ presentations by participants themselves, and some role-playing in coping with scams and crises.
Emphasis will be on the practical, the different perspectives within emerging and established democracies, and the impact of culture - with scope to share experiences and learn from each other.

Participant Profile

The seminar will be of particular value to all those in politics and public life, in agencies of restraint (such as courts, election commissions, independent tribunals, anticorruption bodies, auditing bodies, central banks, and ombudsmen), in the media, and in civil society and NGOs coping with issues of transparency and accountability. It will also be of interest to those working in international agencies combating corruption, and in the multinational corporate sector drawn into corruption issues. Those tackling corruption while managing projects, funded by aid, foundations, or public sources, will be especially welcome.


Additional Information

Event Directors Dr Paul Flather is a Fellow of Mansfield College, Oxford, and Secretary-General of the Europaeum, an association of leading European universities. His research is on democratic change in India, including ways and means of combating corruption there. He is a former journalist, having worked with the BBC, Times Newspapers and New Statesman, served as an elected Member of the Inner London Education Authority, the founding Chief Executive/Secretary General of the Central European University, and Director external and international relations for Oxford University. Dr Michael Pinto-Duschinsky is a Senior Research Fellow at Brunel University, who has written and lectured extensively on corruption issues, particularly the problems of funding political parties. He is founder trustee of the Westminster Foundation of Democracy and also sits on the international executive of the World Movement for Democracy. Contributors* are expected to include: Elizabeth Filkin UK Parliamentary Commissioner on Standards Lord Neill Chairman of the Committee for Standards and Privileges in Public Life Paul van Buitenen Whistleblower on European Union corruption Martin Bell Journalist and former ‘anti-corruption’ MP Aruna Roy Co-leader of the Right to Information Campaign in Rajastan, India Philip Mason Department for International Development Jeremy Pope Transparency International Lord Borrie Former Head of Office of Fair Trading Sanyay Pradhan / Helen Sutch World Bank Ronald Rich Director, Centre for Democratic Institutions, Australia National University Quentin Reed Journalist and Anti-Corruption expert, Central Europe *list of contributors may be subject to change