Photo of Riccardo D'Emidio

Riccardo D'Emidio
Research student (Politics)


The study of corruption and anti-corruption interventions is constantly challenged by the inherent ambivalence of corruption: from the ubiquitous presence across the globe of different forms of corrupt practices to the constant evolvement and negotiation of what constitutes corruption - the Paradise Papers, being the latest controversial example.

Within the past twenty five years, corruption has shifted from the margins of the academic debate to the forefront of the development agenda clearly defined in Sustainable Development Goal 16. This has been accompanied by the birth and flourishing of an “anti-corruption industry” with a whole set of institution, platforms and commitments. The significant increase in anti-corruption interventions has not garnered the expected results, with very few interventions and reforms producing effective results.  

Why is corruption so difficult to curb? What are the key underlying assumptions about citizen engagement and empowerment in the fight against corruption? How can insights from social psychology inform our understanding of corruption and policy response? How and to what extent do social norms shape corrupt behaviour? How can these social norms be used for effective policy interventions?