Why are some people corrupt while others are not?

Does power corrupt?

How can digital technologies contribute to curbing corruption?

Which institutional framework is most effective to combat corruption?


These are some of the many questions that fascinate us about corruption research. We want to bring people who are interested in corruption closer together and spark a debate about the topic beyond the purely academic discourse. For that, we interview leading experts on corruption and anti-corruption including researchers, journalists, prosecutors and civil actors.


KickBack is a podcast project founded by...
- Nils Köbis
- Christopher Starke
- Matthew Stephenson


You can subscribe to the Podcast via Soundcloud, StitcherSpotify or Itunes



Special thanks to Kayhan Golkar for composing our jingle "Points" and Jonathan Kleinpass for his technical support.

To get in touch with the show, please contact us at 


KickBack - The Global Anticorruption Podcast

1. Episode: Susan Rose - Ackerman (Mon, 18 Mar 2019)
The discussion between Matthew and Susan touches on how Susan got interested in corruption – by experiences made within the US, how her scope of interest has expanded, why her seminal book was not an immediate success. Susan points to the experimental field work by Benjamin Olken and the creative approach to measuring corruption by Ray Fisman . Susan and Matthew discuss the differences between the Principal Agent Theory of corruption and the prominent critique arguing that corruption is rather a collective action problem , most prominently voiced by Bo Rothstein. Picks of the podcast: The picks by Susan are: - the theoretical work on public choice by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen. - George Washington Plunkitt a Tammany Hall political boss in New York City and his famous speech from 1905 on honest and dishonest graft. - The work by John Gardiner on Town X
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0. Episode: Introduction Nils, Christopher, Matthew (Mon, 18 Mar 2019)
Welcome to KickBack - The Global Anticorruption Podcast. In the introductory Episode we will introcude ourselves and the Podcast project. If you like what we do, please leave a rating on ITunes and Stitcher.
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