Corruption Lab on Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law

News & Events

News In Brief

Posted in February 2021

  • Prof. Deborah Hellman discusses how algorithms can compound injustice and the evolution of her theory on discrimination on the podcast "Common Law."  Listen here.

Posted in January 2021

  • Law professor Deborah Hellman on NBC29 helps explain the 25th amendment and its relevance to the current moment.

Posted in December 2020

  • Prof. Gingerich gave a keynote address at the 2nd Annual Anti-Corruption Day Celebration of the State Anti-Corruption Office of Jalisco, México.  Watch his lecture, “Corruption as a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy,” here.

Posted in November 2020

  • Co-director Daniel W. Gingerich discussed the 2020 election on a Charlottesville local radio program: "Wake-Up Call: Post Election Review" on 97.9 The WREN/posted on the Charlottesville Podcast Network.
  • Michael Gilbert of the CLEAR Lab and the UVA Law School has been named the inaugural director of UVA Law’s Center for Public Law and Political Economy.
  • Graduate Fellow, Meltem Yucel's research was highlighted by UVA Today: "Eyes Wide Open: In New Findings, 3-Year-Olds Reach to Immorality."
  • Michael Gilbert was a panelist for the UVA Karsh Center for Law and Democracy event "Election 2020: What’s Next for Law and Democracy?"
  • Michael Gilbert was a panelist on “Election 2020 Aftermath: Turbulence, Transition, or Tranquility?” with Miller Center Director William Antholis, Democracy Initiative Co-Director Melody Barnes, former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, and Miller Center Professor Sidney Milkis.  The discussion centered on the ongoing uncertainties and challenges facing the country the week following the presidential election.
  • Michael Gilbert was interviewed by Al-Jazeera for the article "'Counting ballots is not fraud': Experts blast Trump claims."

Posted in September 2020

  • Co-director Daniel W. Gingerich shows how politicians utilize local intermediaries to mobilize voters in the American Political Science Review, the flagship journal of the American Political Science Association. 

Posted June 2020

Posted May 2020

Posted March 2020

  • Assistant Professor of Anthropology Sylvia Tidey wins a 4-VA grant as co-PI with Associate Professor Aaron Ansell (Virginia Tech) on their collaborative research project: "Politics After Friendship: The Cultural Legacy of PT-era Policy at the Dawn of Brazil’s New Right"

Posted February 2020

Posted January, 2020

Posted November, 2019

  • Giving Shots of Ethics? Corruption, Culture, and the Context of Organizational Socialization in the Police
    ​A talk by Professor of Practice Vaneet Kapoor
  • Impeachment, Bribery, and Corruption
    See the talk by Professors Deborah Hellman and Michael Gilbert
  • Professors Want to Make Corruption CLEAR
    Professors Deborah Hellman and Michael Gilbert are inaugural scholars in UVA’s Corruption Lab on Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law.

Posted October, 2019

  • CLEAR Lab Announces Launch Event

    Tuesday, November 19, 2019
    10:00 am - UVA's Miller Center
    William Browder, David Gergen, Shan Aman-Rana, Kara Brockmeyer, Michael Gilbert, Daniel W. Gingerich, Deborah Hellman, Philip Keefer, Stephen D. Mull, David Singerman, Sandip Sukhtankar, Sylvia Tidey

    At home and abroad, America faces the issue of corruption in the institutions upon which we have come to rely. Join us for the inaugural event of the Democracy Initiative’s Corruption Laboratory for Ethics, Accountability, and the Rule of Law (CLEAR). The event will feature William Browder, a businessman who has been declared a threat to Russian national security.


Posted October, 2019

    CLEAR Lab Worskshop Series, October 17, 2019

    Abstract: Research on clientelism emphasizes the use of brokers to mobilize voters. To utilize these agents efficiently, politicians must learn about brokers’ relative abilities and allocate scarce resources accordingly. Drawing upon a hand-coded dataset based on the archives of Gustavo Capanema, a powerful mid-20th-century congressman from Minas Gerais, Brazil, this paper offers the first direct evidence of such learning dynamics. The analysis concentrates on Brazil’s pre-secret ballot era, a time when measuring broker performance was particularly straightforward. Consistent with theories of political learning, the data demonstrate that resource flows to local machines were contingent on the deviation between actual and expected votes received in previous elections. Moreover, given politicians’ ability to discern mobilization capacity, payments to brokers were highly effective in bringing out the vote. This suggests that one consequence of the transition to vote secrecy was likely a change in buying power: the extent to which money drives votes.

Posted September, 2019

    CLEAR Lab Worskshop Series, September 12, 2019

    Abstract: How should citizens prove their identity in order to access publicly provided goods and services? We use a large-scale experiment to evaluate the effects of more stringent ID requirements based on biometric authentication currently being imposed by the Government of India, characterizing how this has affected errors of inclusion and of exclusion in the delivery of subsidized food in the state of Jharkhand. Per se, requiring biometric authentication to transact did not reduce leakage, slightly increased transaction costs for the average beneficiary, and substantially reduced benefits received for the 23% of beneficiaries who had not previously linked an ID to the program database. Subsequent reforms that made use of authenticated transaction data to reduce allocations to the program coincided with large reductions in leakage, but also significant reductions in benefits received. Our results highlight the shadow costs in terms of exclusion that can arise from attempts to reduce corruption in welfare programs.

Posted July, 2019

  • Jan Vogler will join us as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Political Economy of Good Government (Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics & the Democracy Initiative). He recently completed his Ph.D. in political science–with a specialization in political economy and political methodology–at Duke University. His dissertation is entitled, “The Political Economy of Public Bureaucracy: The Emergence of Modern Administrative Organizations.” Prior to earning his Ph.D., Jan received a B.A. in political science from the Free University of Berlin and a M.Sc. (with distinction) in international relations (research) from the London School of Economics and Political Science. While completing his undergraduate degree, he studied economics as an additional minor and spent one year at the University of California, Berkeley. At UVA, he will be working on a number of topics, including state-citizen interactions, the interruption of self-government, and the quality of public institutions. His website is here:  

Posted June, 2019

  • Jessica Ann Levy will join us as a postdoc for the next two years in the history of corruption and injustice. She earned her Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University and is currently a postdoctoral reseach associate in African-American Studies at Princeton University. At UVA, she will be working on a book project entitled Black Power, Inc.: Corporatizing Anti-Racist Struggles in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa. You can read more about her work here:

  • Shan Aman-Rana (PhD candidate, London School of Economics) will be joining the Department of Economics and UVA-CLEAR as an Assistant Professor starting Fall 2019. Aman-Rana's research is on Development Economics and Organizational Economics, with her research examining incentives for bureaucratic promotions in the Pakistan Administrative Service (PAS, in which she has also served). Her website is

  • Vineet Kapoor will be joining UVA-CLEAR as a Visiting Professor of Practice for 2019-20. Dr. Kapoor is currently a senior Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer in India who also has a PhD from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. He has worked with the United Nations Mission in Kosovo, been Principal of the two main Police Academies in Madhya Pradesh state, and also published a number of academic papers on human rights practices in policing.
  • Professor Debbie Hellman’s paper, A Theory of Bribery  won the American Philosophical Association's Fred R. Berger Prize for the best published paper from the prior two years in the field of Law and Philosophy.