Lucy Koechlin, PhD

Lucy Koechlin is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Social Anthropology, University of Basel, Switzerland (since autumn term 2010). She teaches a wide range of courses in development studies, and is a leading expert on governance and anti-corruption.

Until 2009, Lucy was Head of Public Accountability at the Basel Institute on Governance (associated with the University of Basel), responsible for research and consultancies in the area of public governance and accountability systems. She has undertaken studies and evaluations for development agencies on a wide range of governance issues, and conducted and facilitated workshops, seminars and training sessions on anti-corruption for the public sector, business and non-governmental organisations in countries ranging from Afghanistan to Switzerland. Other relevant activities include Peer Reviewer for the World Bank Governance Partnership Facility (since 2008), member of the Commission for Development Cooperation Basel Stadt (since 2006), former Vice-President of Transparency International Switzerland (2002-2008), and member of the teaching commission of the Centre of African Studies Basel (since 2002).

Lucy studied sociology, international law and political economy at the University of Basel (lic.phil.), as well as Development Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science (MSc). She obtained her PhD at the University of Basel, exploring corruption and political order in Africa with a case study of governance reforms in Tanzania.

Research focus

  • political order and change
  • civil society
  • governance
  • corruption
  • conflict
  • geographical focus: Eastern Africa


  • Introductory courses in Social Anthropology. For BA students. Yearly. Since 2010.
  • Interdisciplinary Seminar on Peacebuilding and Conflict Transformation at the Europainstitut Basel, together with Prof. L. Goetschel and Dr. P. Segher. For MA and MAS students. Yearly, spring term only. Since 2005.
  • Module on Governance and Corruption in the advanced course in Conflict Studies. For advanced and post-graduate students. Yearly. Since 2007.
  • Classes on Politics and Governance for the Center of African Studies, Basel. For MA students. Yearly. Since 2002.
  • Seminar in Development Studies at the Institute of Sociology, covering various topics with a geographical emphasis on Africa. For BA and MA students. Yearly, spring and autumn term. Since 1999.

Research projects

  • „The Politics of Governance: Power and Political Agency in Africa“ (lead researcher of project proposal submitted to the SNF in September 2010)
  • „Corruption as an Empty Signifier: Politics and Political Order in Africa“ (PhD Thesis, completed in May 2010)
  • „The Governance of Health Systems“ (SNF Project 2009-2011) (project manager of inception phase)


Edited Books and Book Chapters

Koechlin, Lucy and Richard Calland (2009). Standard setting at the cutting edge – an evidence-based typology for multistakeholder initiatives. In: Peters, A. et al. (eds.) (2009). Non-state actors as standard setters. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Peters, Anne, Lucy Koechlin, and Gretta Fenner Zinkernagel (2009). Non-state actors as standard setters: Framing the issue in an interdisciplinary fashion. In: Peters et al. (eds.) (2009). Non-state actors as standard setters. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 1-32.

Peters, Anne, Till Förster and Lucy Koechlin (2009). Towards non-state actors as effective, legitimate and accountable standard setters. In: Peters, Anne et al. (eds.) (2009). Non-state actors as standard setters. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. 492-561.

Peters, Anne, Lucy Koechlin, Till Förster and Gretta Fenner Zinckernagel (eds.) (2009). Non-state actors as standard setters. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

Koechlin, Lucy and Magdalena Sepulveda (2009). Human Rights and Corruption: Exploring the Connections. In: Rotberg, Robert (ed). Corruption and World Order. Brookings, Washington.

Koechlin, Lucy (2007). Ein Armutszeugnis:  Von grosser und kleiner Korruption. In: Renz, Ursula/Bleisch, Barbara (eds). Zu wenig – Dimensionen der Armut. Seismo Verlag, Zürich. 185-205.

Articles, Working Papers and Blogs

“Zimbabwe and the Kimberley Process: Just how effective are Multistakeholder-Initiatives?” In: EJIL:Talk! Blog of the European Journal of International Law (EJIL), Tuesday, 29 November 2009. Filed under

Koechlin, Lucy (2008). Poverty and Corruption: About Poorer and Richer Ways of Life. Working Paper Series No 5, Basel Institute on Governance.

Koechlin, Lucy (2008). Derselbe Masstab für alle? Ethische Verhaltensstandards und ‘best practices’ im Nonprofit-Sektor (Best practices in the non-profit sector). Medicus Mundi Bulletin Nr 107.

Koechlin, Lucy (2007). An Evaluation of National Integrity Systems from a Human Rights Perspective. Working Paper, prepared for the Review Meeting on Corruption and Human Rights, Geneva 28-29 July 2007, International Council on Human Rights Policy. Geneva.

“Korruption war zu lange ein Kavaliersdelikt”. Interview in Moneta, Nr 1, 24. March 2003.

Presentations and Facilitations

Presentation on „Democratic politics: institutions, state capacity, governance“ at the workshop “Switzerland-South Africa: Negotiated Democracies” organised by the SSAJRP Safeguarding Democracy at the Bildungszentrum Mission 21, Basel, 28 May 2010.

Moderation of workshop „Change of rules or change of heart“ at the Conference on „Accountability - Blame and responsibility: an opportunity to restore trust?“, organised by KPMG International, Geneva, 4 May 2010.

Presentation on „NEPAD: Lessons for the private sector“ at the Workshop on „The Relevance of the UN Convention Against Corruption and Other International Anti-Corruption Initiatives for the Private Sector“, organised by the Business Humanitarian Fondation (BHF), Transparency International (TI), and the International Chamber of Commerce, Geneva, 16 March 2010.

Presentation on “Health System Governance” at the 12th STI Symposium on “Health System Strengthening: the Role of Conditional Incentives”, 28-28 November 2008.

Expert at the International Workshop on Forest Governance, organised by the Swiss Development Cooperation and Intercooperation, Interlaken, 29-30 October 2008.

Expert at Seminar on Corruption and Development, organised by the Postgraduate Course on Development Studies (NADEL), Federal Institute of Technology, Zürich, 28 October 2008.

Presentation on “Corruption: Problems and Solutions in Humanitarian Assistance” at the Management Seminar of Swiss Solidarity, in Horgen, 22 May 2008.

Presentation of paper on “Human Rights and Corruption” at the second experts meeting on corruption in Harvard, Cambridge, USA, organised by the Kennedy School of Government, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Peace Building Foundation, 15-17 May 2008.

Presentation on “Human Rights and Corruption” at the Jour Fixe, Transparency International Berlin, Germany, 29 February 2008.

Expert at the Seminar on “Corruption: International Anti-Corruption Standards and Case-Studies”, organised by the Economic Research Centre for Senior Public Officials, 29-30 January 2008.

Presentation of draft paper on “Human Rights and Corruption” at the first experts meeting on corruption in Harvard, Cambridge, USA, organised by the Kennedy School of Government, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Peace Building Foundation, 8-11 December 2007

Presentation of research findings on “National Integrity Systems: a rights-based perspective” and expert at the review meeting on corruption and human rights, organised by International Council on Human Rights Policy, Geneva, 28-29 July 2007.

Presentation on “Best practices in the not-for-profit sector” at the 6th Swiss Health Cooperation Symposium “In the public interest”, Basel, 6 November 2007.

Presentation on “Development, Poverty and Corruption” for Novordisk, Athens, 9 May 2007.

Presentation on Institutions, Corruption and Development for the Business And Poverty Leadership Programme, Cambridge, 13-16 November 2006.

Key note address on “The impact of corruption on societies” and facilitator of workshop on corruption at the conference “Agenda for Reconciliation in Africa”, organised by Initiatives of Change, Caux, 8 August 2006.

Presentation on “Poverty and Corruption” for the lecture series on poverty, organised by the Ethics Centre of the University of Zurich, 13 June 2006.

Presentation on “Legitimate Political Order: Corruption as a Medium of Subversion or Integration”, at the conference on “Threatened Trust: the Transformation of the State and the Fading of Civil Society”, held at Basel on 9-10 January 2006.

Presentation on “Civil Society, the State and Corruption” at the AEGIS European Conference of African Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Institute of Commonwealth Studies,  London, UK, 29 June-2 July, 2005.

Presentation on “Insights and Outlooks of Civil Society: Professional Associations, Corruption and Governance in Tanzania” at the Seminar on ‘Participation and Interests in Africa – Consequences for Politics and the Economy”, organised by GTZ, in Eschborn, 13 September 2005.

Participant at the experts’ conference on “Redesigning the State? Political Corruption in Development Policy and Practice”, organised by the Institute for Development Policy and Management, University of Manchester, on 25 November 2005

Keynote presentation on “A National Strategy Against Corruption – An International Perspective” and consulting expert at  the „Workshop on  Vietnam and the United Nations Convention Against Corruption“, by invitation of the General Inspectorate of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and UNDP Vietnam, Hanoi, 24-25 November 2004.

Presentation on “Civil Society in Perspective: Professional Associations, the State and Corruption in Tanzania” at the Conference ‘Integrating Governance: Linking up Government, Business, and Civil Society’, Monash University, Prato Centre, Italy, 25-26 October 2004.

Chair of Workshop “The Role of Local Business in Creating New Livelihoods”, at the Conference ‘Transforming War Economies’, Swiss Peace Foundation and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, Bern, Switzerland, 15 September 2004.

Co-ordinator (together with Richard Holloway) and Chair of the Workshop “Mobilising the margins: How the poor and vulnerable can fight corruption”, 11th International Anti-corruption Conference, Seoul, 25-28 May 2003.


Lucy Koechlin
Ethnologisches Seminar
Münsterplatz 19
CH-4051 Basel
Tel. ++41 (0)61 267 27 41