22 September 2021 (via Zoom)
About the webinar

New research conducted in Lagos by SOAS-ACE has reinforced an emerging strand of research in anti-corruption—that messages promoting anti-corruption can sometimes end up causing corruption fatigue and a perception that corruption is too widespread to be challenged—outcomes at odds with any messaging campaign.

The research clearly points to the need for more specific and targeted messaging both for specific issues and for different categories of individuals. This neatly complements the ‘supply side’ approach of SOAS-ACE that argues that blanket anti-corruption strategies often fail because they seek to enhance transparency and accountability without asking who has the power and interest to enforce these outcomes. Instead we look for anti-corruption strategies that improve service delivery, reduce leakages, create jobs, or increase productivity in specific activities where enforcement is likely to be supported by key insiders in their own interest. Messaging is more likely to work and less likely to lead to despondency if it is linked to these types of feasible strategies that have a chance of reducing specific types of corruption.

Our panel discussion brought together some of the most relevant thinkers on governance and corruption to discuss why radical departures are needed and what our framework means for policy design.


  • Nic Cheeseman, Professor of Democracy, University of Birmingham
  • Leena Koni Hoffmann, Associate Fellow, Africa Programme, Chatham House
  • Heather Marquette, Professor of Development Politics, International Development Department, University of Birmingham
  • Caryn Peiffer, Lecturer in International Public Policy and Governance, School for Policy Studies, University of Bristol

Moderator: Pallavi Roy, Research Director, Anti-Corruption Evidence Research Partnership Consortium and Senior Lecturer in International Economics, SOAS University of London

Related publication

The unintended consequences of anti‐corruption messaging in Nigeria: Why pessimists are always disappointed (Briefing Paper)