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

3. Episode: Robtel Neajai Pailey (Mon, 15 Apr 2019)
In this episode of the KickBack Global AntiCorruption, we are very happy to welcome Robtel Neajai Pailey – a Liberian academic, activist and author who is “maladjusted to injustice” – a quote from Cornel West. We discuss Robtel’s impressive work – ranging from her books, to stage play, Forum theatre, radio and even music videos in collaboration with Hip Hop Artist Takun J. You can find out all about Robtel’s books Gbagba and Jaadeh here, including more information about the illustrator Chase Walker. The book Gbagba has been adapted to a stage play by Flomo Theatre and been distributed through the Open Society Initiative for West Africa. The interview touches on moral development of children, how children can help adults to remind them of their own morality. Robtel and Nils also discuss social psychological phenomena such as the so-called “What the hell effect” and Identifiable victim effect and how they relate to corruption. Robtel’s Pick of the Podcast: God of small things – Arundhati Roy If you want to find out more about Robtel you can check out her website
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2. Episode: Deltan Dallagnol (Mon, 01 Apr 2019)
Matthew sits down with Deltan Dallagnol for an insightful interview. Many call it the biggest anti-corruption investigation that has ever occurred: the car wash investigation that originated in Brazil. This episode brings you a unique insight into the investigation by no other but the lead prosecutor himself, Deltan Dallagnol (on Twitter @deltanmd). To give you an idea of the size of the investigation, Deltan outlines that car wash included charges against four acting and former presidents of Brazil: Michel Temer, Lula da Silva, Fernando Collor de Mello and Dilma Rousseff. In the interview, Matthew and Deltan explain where the name “car wash” actually comes from. They explain how Plea bargaining agreements in exchange for witness testimony as well as settlements with large companies like Odebrecht played a key role in the car wash investigations. In the discussion, Deltan and Matthew discuss the similarities between the Brazilian investigations and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act . By the way, Deltan also describes how $15 million in cash were featured in the process. Finally, Deltan and Matthew compare the open communication strategies within the car wash investigation to the Robert Muller investigations and touch on the clean hands (“Mani Pulite”) investigations in Italy. • Operation Car Wash: • Michel Temer: • Lula da Silva: • Fernando Collor de Mello: • Dilma Rousseff: • Plea bargaining agreements: • Odebrecht: • Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: • Robert Muller investigations: • clean hands (“Mani Pulite”) investigations:
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