Yesterday, along with the other faculty members of UVA CLEAR (the Corruption Lab on Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law), I participated in our lab’s big launch event at the Miller Center. The room was packed—it turns out corruption is a hot topic among a certain crowd these days. Who knew? (It was a fun game trying not to mention the T word, the I word, or the U word.)
My contribution to the conversation was to historicize definitions of corruption at a larger scale, all the way back to the London docks in the 1600s and anti-Reconstruction in the 1870s. But academics weren’t what drew the crowd.
The headliner was Bill Browder, the American investor whose advocacy of sanctions against Russian human-rights violators has made him Putin’s enemy number 1. (Understandably concerned about his safety, Browder Skyped in from his home in London.)
Here, by the way, is an obituary of Browder’s father—an remarkable guy from a remarkable family.
In between, we all heard an excellent conversation about anti-corruption efforts in practice with Phil Keefer of the Inter-American Development Bank and Kara Brockmeyer, formerly of the SEC.