Corruption, and the impact it has on society, is the focus of the newly established Anti-Corruption research centre at DCU. The Centre is aiming to devise solutions and strategies to address a global issue that is estimated to cost almost $4 trillion dollars annually in bribes and stolen money, not to mention the devastating social and economic consequences for communities across the world.

The Anti-Corruption Research Centre (ARC) is Ireland’s first academic research centre dedicated to research, policy and education on corruption and anti-corruption with the aim of tackling an international issue, which according to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres “is a problem that is present in all nations, rich and poor.”


Co-directed by Dr Michael Breen of DCU’s School of Law and Government and Dr Rob Gillanders of DCU Business School, ARC’s mission is to advance our understanding of the causes and consequences of corruption and support the development of new anti-corruption policies and initiatives, in Ireland and abroad. It will bring together researchers from law, political science, business, economics and accounting to examine the causes and consequences of corruption and to support the development of new anti-corruption practices in Ireland and abroad.


It will also develop executive education and CPD programmes as well as engaging with civil society, media and policymakers


Speaking at the virtual launch, Minister for Finance Paschal Donohue TD said


“[It is] important  that we research and understand the effect and causes of corruption on political life and we use this to better inform policy making in this area. I look forward to it informing the work that we do here at home and abroad, in the work that Ireland can do, in combating corruption, and critically, in combating the consequences that corruption can have on public and political life.”


Prof Elizabeth David Barett , Director of the Centre for the Study of Corruption, University of Sussex, Irish Examiner journalist Mick Clifford, Chief Executive of Transparency International John Devitt, DCU’s Dr Vicky Conway and Dr Amadou Boly , Special Assistant to the Vice-President & Chief Economist with the African Development Bank also spoke at the virtual launch.


The President of DCU, Prof Brian MacCraith said, 


“Corruption is a complex problem that imposes an enormous cost on citizens and societies, right across the globe both in direct economic terms and in terms of the quality of life. The creation of this new centre is a recognition of the complexity of the challenge. By supporting new interdisciplinary collaborations, ARC will amplify the impact of the excellent research already being conducted by DCU researchers.


The centre reflects DCU’s mission to ‘transform lives and societies’ and we expect it to have a positive influence on public policy in Ireland and internationally.”


Dr Rob Gillanders, co-director of the Anti-Corruption Research Centre said, 


“Corruption undermines economic and social progress by simultaneously driving down innovation and investment and driving up poverty and inequality.


We hope that ARC will deepen our understanding of corruption and lead to the development of effective anti-corruption interventions and strategies.”

Dr Michael Breen, co-director of the Anti-Corruption Research Centre said, 


“The Covid-19 crisis has substantially raised the risk of corruption in Ireland and elsewhere. This centre will help us to address this risk, and work to strengthen Ireland’s anti-corruption regime.”


The ARC website is now live at