Mitchell Centre seminar series
|Starts:||16:00 16 Mar 2022|
|Ends:||17:00 16 Mar 2022|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||School of Social Sciences|
University of Manchester
From Text to Tainted Ties: Extracting and Analysing Corruption Networks from Deferred Prosecution Agreements
Corruption, bribery, and white-collar crime are inherently relational phenomena as actors involved in them exchange information, resources, and favours. While this has been often emphasized in the literature, there is a paucity of studies actually empirically examining the structural properties of corruption networks.
This presentation introduces the results of a project with two aims: a) to extract corruption network data from openly accessible Statements of Fact accompanying Deferred Prosecution Agreements, and b) to conduct exploratory analysis on the network extracted this way.
The extracted information is about which actors were involved in a given case, the relations and interactions among these actors (e.g., communication or payments), and their relevant individual attributes (gender, affiliation, and sector) from five Statements of Fact. The data is coded using content analysis with two independent coders and subsequently, inter-coder reliability is assessed. The coding of ties in the five extracted networks turns out to be highly reliable with only slightly lower coding reliability in the case of the largest network. The coding of attributes is highly reliable as well, although it is prone to missing data on actors’ gender.
The exploratory analysis results indicate that the corruption networks resemble core-periphery structured networks with ties predominantly concentrated between a few very central actors (core), who ad hoc engage with actors from the periphery. Moreover, actors display a strong tendency of to repeat interactions and to accumulate interactions within certain dyads. In terms of temporal dynamics, the networks exhibit periods of relative inaction alternating with periods of frequent and repeated contacts triggered by the presence of contracts susceptible to corruption.
The presentation concludes with the discussion of possible extensions of the data collection framework, policy and intervention implications of the substantive results, and avenues for further research.
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