Transparency, Conspiracy, and Impunity

Panel Code

This session will focus on how corruption is changing in terms of both its nature and its modalities, reflecting the changing architecture of the modern state – notably the blurring of traditional boundaries between public and private and the porousness of national borders in an age of digital technology and virtual connectivity. In turn, this poses new challenges for the fight against corruption, since traditional approaches that focus on within-state solutions are inadequate to address the evolving ecosystem of transnational corrupt networks, as highlighted for example by the Panama Papers. Despite ever greater emphasis on open government and other transparency initiatives, public concern about corruption continues to grow and trust in the political class continues to decline, posing a potential threat to the credibility and continuity of the global order. Speakers in this session will address key challenges, including the difficulties of identifying whether and how power is abused in an ever more complex and interconnected environment, as well as how to control some of principal enablers of corruption via transnational financial flows, corporate ‘shell games’, secrecy jurisdictions, and so forth. What kinds of approach are needed to confront corruption in an era where traditional borders no longer serve to delimit its manifestations, but where international cooperation to end impunity appears a distant dream?