Case studies

The CSC Case Study Template: Corruption Case Studies

This site is a repository of information about how to use the CSC Case Study Template, and of case studies that can be downloaded by students and researchers.

 The faculty at the Centre for the Study of Corruption (CSC) have developed the CSC Case Study Template for use in teaching and research.  It has been extensively field-tested amongst students and forms the basis for an entire module of our online MA in Corruption & Governance. 

Case studies are a widely used tool in campaigning and policy-making, both in relation to corruption and other subjects.  In an educational context, they are perhaps most frequently and systematically used in business schools, with the Harvard format being widely recognised as an effective device for practical analysis.  The CSC Case Study Template is designed to allow a systematic analysis of a case; a judgement to be made as to whether it is or is not a case of corruption; and the presentation of information in a readable form that has multiple end-uses, including policy-making, advocacy, campaigning and education. 

We believe the CSC Case Study template offers a useful approach to anti-corruption problem-solving.  The theory behind this approach is simple: if you have a good understanding or diagnosis of the problem, you are more likely to find a solution; and the diagnosis needs to examine a case from angles that include the harm, the benefits, the enabling environment, systems failures and the effectiveness of penalties.  The CSC Case Study Template is designed to give such a description of a corruption problem, combining a concise narrative with a rigorous analysis from all angles, including the problem of how it came to happen.   

The template:

  • Provides a systematic analysis of a case of corruption
  • Describes and analyses the case in a manner that can be used for campaigning, educating, advocacy or policymaking
  • Draws out key insights 
  • Combines practical and academic approaches
  • Gives students and researchers a tool they can use to analyse any case of corruption – including determining whether it is actually a case of corruption.

 Case Studies: 

Understanding Corruption: how corruption works in practice

Barrington, R., Dávid-Barrett, E., Power, S., Hough, D. (2022).  Understanding Corruption: how corruption works in practice.  Newcastle upon Tyne: Agenda Publishing.

Order your copy now

Corruption is known to be a complex problem, and understanding corruption in its many forms and global reach is the work of many years. This books tells the story of how corruption happens in practice, illustrated through detailed case studies of the many different types of corruption that span the globe.

Written by an expert team, each case study follows a tried and tested analytical approach to understand the different forms of corruption (bribery, political corruption, kleptocracy and corrupt capital) and how to tackle them.

With an emphasis on the harm such corruption causes, its victims, and where it has been tackled successfully, the authors draw lessons from the case studies to build a picture of the global threat that corruption poses and the responses that have been most effective.


Author Information

Robert Barrington 

Robert is Professor of Anti-Corruption Practice at the Centre for the Study of Corruption in the University of Sussex. He was formerly the UK head of Transparency International (TI), the world’s leading anti-corruption NGO, and is currently Chair of TI’s International Council. Whilst at TI, Robert led the campaigns to secure the Bribery Act, a national Anti-Corruption Strategy for the UK and the introduction of Unexplained Wealth Orders. He has held a number of private sector and government advisory roles, including the Ministry of Justice’s expert group drafting the official guidance on the Bribery Act and the Cabinet Office’s post-Brexit Procurement Transformation Advisory Panel. He holds a degree from the University of Oxford and a PhD in History from the European University Institute. 

Roxana Bratu 

Roxana is a Lecturer in Corruption Analysis at the University of Sussex. She was previously postdoctoral researcher at University College London, School of Slavonic and East European Studies where she coordinated the activity of the FP7 ANTICORRP project. Roxana holds a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences, and an undergraduate degree from University of Bucharest, Romania. 

Ben Cowdock 

Ben is the Investigations Lead at Transparency International UK, where his research focuses on the UK’s role as a haven for corrupt individuals and their wealth. He has produced reports on dirty money in the UK housing market as well as the role of British ‘professional enablers’ in global money laundering. He holds an undergraduate degree and MA in Corruption and Governance from the University of Sussex. 

Liljana Cvetanoska  

Liljana is a Lecturer in Corruption, Law and Governance at the University of Sussex. Her current research examines the negative impact of corruption on women in Central and Eastern Europe, and EU anti-corruption policies. Liljana holds a PhD in Politics from the University of Sussex and an undergraduate degree from Ss.Cyril and Methodius University, North Macedonia. 

Elizabeth Dávid-Barrett 

Liz is Professor of Governance and Integrity and Director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, having previously held posts at the University of Oxford.  A former journalist with The Economist, Financial Times and BBC, she engages widely with anti-corruption practitioners in governments, the private sector and NGOs. Liz has written several reports for Transparency International, is Chair of Spotlight on Corruption, works closely with parliamentary select committees and advised the UK Cabinet Office on the 2017-2022 National Anti-Corruption Strategy. She holds an undergraduate degree and DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford. 

Shahrzad Fouladvand 

Shahrzad is a Lecturer in International Criminal Law at the University of Sussex. Her main research interests relate to human trafficking and corruption, in the areas of Transnational Criminal Law (TCL) and international criminal justice systems, particularly, the International Criminal Court (ICC) where she worked as a legal researcher at the ICC Office of the Prosecutor /Prosecution Division in The Hague. She holds a PhD in Law from the University of Sussex. 

Georgia Garrod 

Georgia has a research interest in the UK’s role in facilitating corrupt capital flows. She has worked at the Centre for the Study of Corruption and with Transparency International UK, where she supported the investigations team looking at UK money laundering risks. She holds an undergraduate degree and an MA in Corruption and Governance from the University of Sussex. 

Dan Hough 

Dan is Professor of Politics at the University of Sussex and the founder of the Centre for Study of Corruption. He is the author of two books on corruption: Analysing Corruption and Corruption, Anti-Corruption and Governance. Dan’s academic research focuses on two main themes: which anti-corruption strategies work and why, and the politics of anti-corruption campaigns, with a particular interest in anti-corruption in China. Alongside his academic work, Dan is a regular contributor to news outlets including the Washington Post, South China Morning Post, The Conversation, The New Statesman, the BBC and CNBC. He holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Newcastle and a PhD in Politics from the University of Birmingham. 

Francis McGowan 

Francis is a Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Sussex. After working for the European Parliament, Lloyds of London and the Institute for Fiscal Studies, Francis joined the University of Sussex in 1987 as a researcher in the Science Policy Research Unit, moving to the Department of Politics in 1993. His past research has focused on European energy policy. His current research interests include natural resource governance. 

Sam Power 

Sam is a Lecturer in Corruption Analysis and core faculty member of the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex, having previously held posts at the universities of Exeter and Sheffield. His research primarily focusses on political financing, online campaigning, party politics and corruption. He has published widely on these themes and regularly provides expert commentary to media outlets including the BBC, LBC, Bloomberg, the Financial Times, the Guardian, Washington Post, New Statesman and Vice. Sam holds an undergraduate degree, an MA in Corruption and Governance and a PhD in Politics from the University of Sussex. 

Tena Prelec  

Tena Prelec is a Research Associate at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford, having worked at the research unit on the Western Balkans at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research has focussed on the development of informality and corruption during the economic transition in South Eastern Europe, as well as reputation laundering via educational institutions. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Trieste and a PhD in Politics from the University of Sussex. 

Tom Shipley 

Tom Shipley is a PhD researcher at the Centre for the Study of Corruption at the University of Sussex.  He has conducted research on anti-corruption for a range of organisations including the Natural Resource Governance Institute, the Transparency International U4 Helpdesk, the UK Home Office and the World Bank, and is an editor and contributor of Curbing Corruption.