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Research

Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Program

The Corruption, Justice and Legitimacy Program (CJL) is a research-to-practice initiative committed to improving the effectiveness of anti-corruption programming in contexts of endemic corruption.


The Journeys Project


The Journeys Project features the long-distance journeys of dispossessed people — refugees, migrants and asylum seekers who have traveled far to escape persecution and grinding poverty. We examine their stories though a financial lens to better understand the costs and strategies involved in their journeys as well as the economic approaches they use when putting down roots in new surroundings.


Waylaid in Tijuana

Waylaid in Tijuana explores how immigration policies adopted in Washington, DC reverberate just south of the border in Tijuana, Mexico. It features migration experts, government officials, and migrant advocates from the Tijuana/San Diego region who grapple with the consequences of these policies on a daily basis. But its main characters are the migrants themselves, whose stories are often heartbreaking while also being a testament to the human spirit.


Latest News

  • CJL recently hosted an expert gathering to exchange insights into the nuances of conducting stakeholder analysis to inform anti-corruption programming. The discussion brought together a group of anti-corruption and governance experts from anti-corruption NGOs, bi-lateral donors, academia, and public sector practitioners. Stakeholder analysis can include any effort – formal or informal – used to understand which actors or institutions are key to the existing system or issue relevant for the program. Often stakeholder analysis is embedded within broader analytical processes, such as political economy analysis (PEA). In this conversation, we posed a few questions we’re puzzling over: What information in stakeholder analysis is essential versus just interesting? On what basis have others determined what information categories to cut or include in their tools? How has information from stakeholder analysis concretely been used to inform programmatic decisions or fed into broader context analysis? What have people struggled with in using the stakeholder analysis information? What are the significant challenges to gathering information about stakeholders on and in systems of corruption? How can approaches be adjusted? Facilitated by CJL’s co-directors, this event opened up space for experts to drill down into the foundational components to consider when designing and implementing stakeholder analysis in corrupt settings. Some of the richest exchanges involved participants dissecting their own stakeholder analysis tools, then reflecting on how the overarching programmatic purpose of their analysis influences the stakeholder analysis process design. We heard thoughtful insights into what types of information people prioritize gathering about the stakeholders, who to include in the analysis to get a sufficiently complete picture, what purposes these analyses serve, and at a more practical level, how they undertake the stakeholder analysis in corrupt settings. At CJL, we remain convinced of the value in encouraging exchanges over nascent but growing areas of anti-corruption practice, such as work that builds more complex ‘systems’ understandings of corrupt contexts.  Keep an eye out for future Thinking Together gatherings over the next several months on related topics, and subscribe to our Blog to keep up to date on our work. If you’d like to be included in future events, be in touch!

  • Effective human security practice requires centering and uplifting the voices and experiences of marginalized people within different contexts. This means extending solidarity across borders. As such, the Henry J. Leir Institute honors Dalit History Month (celebrated throughout April), and acknowledges the pernicious effect of caste throughout South Asia and the South Asian diaspora. The theme for Dalit History Month 2021 is “hope.” We call upon friends of Leir to consider their role in furthering equality and equity for Dalit South Asians. Background Dalit History Month was first operationalized in the United States by a group of South Asian activists, including Dalits, inspired by Black History Month. The goal of Dalit History Month is to “reclaim the agency of a mass of people who have historically remained peripheral in the consciousness of the academia and the state, and to bring forth their stories of resistance, resilience and heroism.” Dalit History Month additionally honors Dalit reformer and intellectual Dr. B R Ambedkar (born in April). Much of the labor on Dalit liberation has been performed by Dalit feminists, who have identified the intersection between caste and the violation of women’s bodily autonomy (in Thenmozhi Soundararajan’s words, “the 80 million Dalit women in India whose bodies are still forged to caste”). Thus, Dalit liberation is predicated on feminism. Bringing Discussions of Caste to Leir Last year, Leir was privileged to host Dr. Suraj Yengde, a Dalit public intellectual. His talk, “Shattering Brahminical Supremacy & White Supremacy: Creating Dalit-Black Archives,” spoke to the historical dialectic between the Black and Dalit liberation movements, and cast an eye to the future of Dalit-Black solidarity. This event was part of our “Racial Justice as Human Security: Voices from the Trenches” event series. You can watch the event here. To begin learning about Dalit oppression and the anti-caste movement, see Equality Labs and Dalit Camera.

  • On February 24, Professor and Leir Institute Senior Fellow, John Cerone, together with colleagues at Loyola Law School, filed another case with a UN human rights body – this time with the Human Rights Committee, which monitors compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. In this case, he and his colleagues are representing Yuliya Stepanova and Vitaly Stepanov, whistleblowers of the Russian doping program. It is the first ever claim before a UN human rights body denouncing doping as a violation of fundamental human rights protected by international treaty law. The complaint accuses the Russian Federation of grave human rights violations, including the prohibitions on forced labor and medical experimentation. Professor Cerone now has three cases currently pending before UN human rights treaty bodies. Fletcher students and Fletcher alumni worked with Professor Cerone on all three cases.