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Towards Critical Corruption Studies

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

LUXCORE Workshop

Organized by

Tereza Østbø Kuldova, OsloMet & Thomas Raymen, Northumbria University, UK

Time: June 9, 2021 10:00 – 15:30 PM Oslo

How are we to move toward a genuinely critical study of corruption? What changes must we make to our appraisals, analyses, and our theoretical and empirical approaches to account for this seemingly paradoxical state of affairs? This workshop, with internationally leading scholars from around the world, endeavours to take some tentative first steps toward answering these questions.

Photo by Monstera from Pexels

The study of corruption would appear to be inherently critical. It involves criticality toward corporations, governments, institutions, powerful individuals, and the entire cultural, political, and economic systems that drive and facilitate corruption in its various guises. Therefore, the need to move toward a specifically critical corruption studies, as the title of this workshop suggests, would seem to be entirely redundant. But today, as numerous scholars point out, everyone is against corruption. The condemnation is so widespread that we can speak of an era of ‘anti-corruptionism’; one that is arguably being led and driven by the same elite political and economic institutions that are often found to be guilty of corruption on the grandest of scales. But the frenetic implementation of new anti-corruption measures organised around principles of transparency, accountability, and openness do not seem to have yielded the desired results.

Just as the counterculture, with its edgy veneer of alleged criticality, failed to live up to its self-image as the movement that held ‘the system’ to account; anti-corruptionism’s ‘critical’ calls for more transparency, more awareness, more ethics and more compliance do not appear to be the answer.


09:00 – 09:10

Welcome Tereza Østbø Kuldova & Thomas Raymen

9:10 – 9:45

Privatizing the Rule of Law: Legal, Ethical and Social implications

Jon Petter Rui

Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Bergen, Norway

9:45 – 10:15

Anti-corruptionism and the Anti-corruption Industry: What Would a Critical Corruption Studies be Like?

Steven Sampson

Prof. Emeritus, Department of Social Anthropology, Lund University, Sweden

10:15 – 10:30


10:30 – 10:45


10:45 – 11:15

Theorising Corporate Corruption: Anthropological Perspectives on Fraud, Accountancy and Audit Failure

Cris Shore

Professor of Social Anthropology, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK

11:15- 11:45

Workplace Investigations, Whistleblowers, and the Trouble with Ethical Guidelines

Tereza Østbø Kuldova

Research Professor, Work Research Institute, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

Bitten Nordrik

Researcher, Work Research Institute, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Norway

11:45 – 12:00


12:00 – 12:30


12:30 – 13:00

Pursuing Luxury Identities: Some Reflections on Consumer Symbolism and the Deregulation of Financial Ethics

Kate Tudor

Senior Lecturer, Department of Social Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle, UK

13:00 – 13:30

Corruption Indian Style: Ethnographic Notes on Intimidation (dhamakana) IPC 506

Lucia Michelutti

Professor of Anthropology, University College London, UK

13:30 – 13:45


13:45 – 14:00


14:00 – 15:30

Advisory Board Meeting LUXCORE (Internal – only for project members)

This event is funded by The Research Council of Norway under project no. 313004 – Luxury, Corruption and Global Ethics: Towards a Critical Cultural Theory of the Moral Economy of Fraud (LUXCORE).


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