ANTICORRP is a new large-scale research project funded by the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme. The full name of the project is “Anti-corruption Policies Revisited: Global Trends and European Responses to the Challenge of Corruption”. The project started in March 2012 and will last for five years. The research will be conducted by 21 research groups in sixteen countries.

The project’s starting point is that, while the knowledge about the negative impact that corruption has on various aspects of human well-being (such as economic prosperity, health, life satisfaction, gender equality, social trust, poverty and political legitimacy) has been well established, knowledge about how corruption can be successfully fought by political means is much less developed. The fundamental purpose of ANTICORRP is to investigate and explain the factors that promote or hinder the development of effective anti-corruption policies and impartial government institutions. A central issue will be how policy responses can be tailored to deal effectively with various forms of corruption. Through this approach we seek to advance the knowledge on how corruption can be curbed in Europe and elsewhere. Special emphasis is laid on the agency of different state and non-state actors to contribute to the fight against corruption.

This interdisciplinary project includes researchers from anthropology, criminology, economics, gender studies, history, law, political science, public policy and public administration. The project will strive to ensure that the research results are discussed with policy makers and the general public by using high profile multimedia tools as well as a number of research-to-policy workshops.


The project’s main objectives are the following:

1) Propose an encompassing yet precise definition of corruption that clearly differentiates corrupt actions from other types of criminal or ethically problematic actions. A central feature of this definition is that it can be used at a global level for the comparison of governance regimes. The objective of this conceptual work is to develop better tools for the operationalisation and measurement of corruption. To accomplish this we will develop an indicator-based conceptual tool that can help us understand how power and material resources are distributed in corrupt settings and how the causal mechanisms in corrupt settings operate. This is important for explaining why anti-corruption policies succeed or fail and for being able to propose context-related anti-corruption strategies.

2) Create a panel dataset of indicators allowing the tracing of corruption levels over time by country and region through identifying new indicators documented in the project with established, perception-based ones. Together with variables such as education, income and age, gender will be a central concern for this objective.

3) Engage in historical and contemporary case study research and qualitative comparisons across cases to explain why countries reach different equilibria with regard to government accountability and the control of corruption. We will identify the essential ingredients of these equilibria in order to offer a more dynamic and historically grounded model explaining the emergence and consolidation of governance regimes. The perspective of gender and women‘s political representation will be central for this objective.

4) Explain governance regime change as documented by our time series through global models developed through quantitative comparative analysis. We will analyse in-depth the change process of countries in transition from one governance regime to another through qualitative comparative designs and process tracing that do not only focus on formal institutional development, but also on implementation and anti-corruption entrepreneurship. Our case studies will trace the process and the mechanisms of change, the strategies of actors and the mechanism of altering the power distribution of particularistic societies leading to new equilibria.

5) Conduct an extensive survey on monitoring corruption and quality of governance that documents the diversity of contemporary governance landscapes, regulatory frames and anti-corruption strategies in the EU and in countries neighbouring the EU. This would offer for the first time an instrument to monitor control of corruption in the European Union and neighbouring/accession countries as required by the 2010 EU Stockholm Programme.

6) Document the impact and cost of corruption through a variety of case studies across the globe. These will include Asian, African and Latin American countries, but will focus mostly on the EU member states in terms of government effectiveness, fiscal deficits, quality of public services, impact on vulnerable groups (including women) and state-capacity.

7) Provide the first systematic study of the impact of EU funds on the governance of recipient countries. This objective seeks to answer the question if European funds are contributing to a raise in the quality of government, managing to produce the expected impact and to offer options on how to improve this impact. ANTICORRP will investigate and explain the impact of anti-corruption policies by engaging in a set of cross-state comparisons in order to assess and explain variable patterns of policy-making pertaining to good governance, and identify the conditions under which anti-corruption policies achieve or fail to ensure good governance.

8 ) Investigate the success or failure of a significant number of anti-corruption ‘leaders’ in relation to their empowering contexts. One particularly interesting aspect of this is the role of gender and women‘s political representation.

9) Investigate the success or failure of a significant number of anti-corruption projects and analyse what explains variation in outcomes.

10) Disseminate the findings of the project through academic articles, edited books and policy papers. We will create a separate project website linked to the anti-corruption research network portal created by Transparency International ( In addition, we will disseminate our findings via the policy-oriented Governance and Social Development Resource Centre ( that are both headed by two of our consortium partners.


Project participants

The QoG Institute – University of Gothenburg, Sweden

Hertie School of Governance, Germany

European University Institute, Italy

University College London, United Kingdom

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy, Greece

Transparency International, Germany

Universiteit van Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Gallup Organisation Europe, Belgium

Università degli Studi di Bergamo, Italy

Università degli Studi di Perugia, Italy

German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Germany

Center for the Study of Democracy, Bulgaria

Basel Institute on Governance, Switzerland

Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem, Hungary

Societatea Academica din Romania, Romania

Sabiedriskās Politikas Centrs Providus, Latvia

Hacettepe Üniversitesi, Turkey

Škola komunikácie a médií, n.o., Slovakia

Partnership for Social Development, Croatia

Iniciativa Kosovare për Stabilitet, Kosovo

The University of Nottingham, United Kingdom


More information is available on the project’s official website: