International Conference – How to Analyze and Prevent Corporate Crime? The Failures of Regulation and Self-Regulation

About the Conference

The fight against corruption and corporate crime has entered a new phase. In many companies compliance departments have developed over the last two decades. Governmental rules as well as international guidelines have become sharper and the sanctions more dramatic. However, the new regulation boom at the organizational, national and international level is not producing the results to the extent desired. The scandals –Operation Carwash, Siemens, Volkswagen, etc. – have not come to a close and new ones occur. The repeated violations of the law on behalf of large worldwide industrial companies proves that even the vanguards of private sector self-regulation do not sufficiently address the problem, by simply increasing formal sanctions and control. To discuss this paradox situation, with the increased regulation on the one hand, and the repeated corruption cases and corporate crimes on the other hand, we are organizing the international conference: The Failures of Regulation and Self-Regulation: How to Analyze and Prevent Corporate Crime?


The conference will focus on empirical contributions made by a number of international scientists and experts and aims for a successful connection between different analytical methods, as well as an exchange of experiences with different forms of preventions, as a new topic in the current empirical research. To explain the paradox of regulation and violation of rules, we will focus on the social causes, institutional constraints as well as the legal consequences of active corruption. The sociological concept of “organizational deviance” is likely to make a fruitful contribution to criminological and penal disputes in the field of international corruption research. In the focus of the analysis are organizations with different characteristics, furthermore enterprises and political parties, in their diverse cultural and institutional contexts. Stimulating a discussion about empirical and analytical methods as well as the comparative perspective, will be one of the major tasks of this conference. Furthermore, the conference will seek to identify better and more efficient mechanisms against corruption and other forms of organizational crimes.

Hosted by

Prof. Dr. Markus Pohlmann

Max-Weber-Institute of Sociology   -   Institute for German, European and International Criminal Law   -   Law of Criminal Procedures and Institute of Criminology

Conference Programme

08.12.2016, Session I - Corporate Crime and Organizational Deviance

14:00: Conference Opening & Welcome Addresses

14:15: Corporate Crime and Organizational Deviance
Prof. Dr. Markus Pohlmann, Max Weber Institute of Sociology, Heidelberg University

15:00: Corrupt Organizations or Organizations of Corrupt Individuals?
Prof. Dr. Jonathan Pinto, Business School, Imperial College London

16:00: Corporate Crime Deterrence in China: A Systematic Review
Prof. Dr. Shi Xiuyin, Institute of Sociology, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Beijing

16:45: Regulation under Uncertainty: Failures and Potentials in Complex Industrial Settings
Prof. Dr. Gary Herrigel and Georg Rillinger, Department of Political Science, University of Chicago, USA

09.12.2016, Session II - Experimental and Survey Research on Corruption

09:00 Vignette-Based Factorial Surveys as a Tool for the Measurement of Corruption
Prof. Dr. Peter Graeff, Institute for Sociology and Empirical Social Sciences, University of Kiel

09:45 Application of Factorial Surveys in the Area of Corporate Crime Research
Prof. Dr. Sally Simpson, Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice, University of Maryland (also on behalf of Dr. Melissa Rorie and Bree Boppre)

11:00 Corporate Crime and Compliance in Germany – Case Studies and Survey
Prof. Dr. Kai-D. Bussmann, Faculty of Law and Economics, Martin-Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg (to be confirmed)

11:45 The effect of social norms on bribe offers
Prof. Dr. Klaus Abbink, Department of Economics, Monash University, Melbourne


Session III – The Flaws and Failures of (Self-)Regulation in Economy and Politics

14:00  Bribery and Illegal Party Financing in Brazil
Prof. Dr. Wagner Pralon Mancuso, School of Arts, Sciences, and Humanities, University of São Paulo

14:45  Corruption and Cheating in Germany and Brazil
Prof. Dr. Markus Pohlmann and Dr. Elizangela Valarini, Max Weber Institute of Sociology, Heidelberg University

18:00 Public Evening Lecture at the New Hall, Heidelberg University
Corruption and law enforcement in Brazil: The Petrobras case
Brazilian Federal Judge, Prof. Dr. Sergio Fernando Moro


09:00 Enforcing oversight duties: directors' personal liability across the legal system and the lack of compiance incentives
Dr. Vincenzo Dell'Osso, Research Centre "Federico Stella" on Criminal Law and Criminal Policy (CSGP), Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, Milan

09:45 The Policy of Corruption - Scandals in Argentina since the 1990s
Prof. Dr. Sebastián Pereyra, Institute for Advanced Social Studies, National University of San Martín, Buenos Aires

10:30 Corporate Crime and Criminal Corporate Laws
Prof. Dr. Thomas Schröder, Institute of German, European and international Criminal Law and Criminal Trial Law, Faculty of Law, Heidelberg University

11:15    Closing Remarks
Prof. Dr. Gerhard Dannecker, Institute of German, European and international Criminal Law and Criminal Trial Law, Faculty of Law, Heidelberg University

Organisation & Registration

Elizangela Valarini

Max-Weber-Institut für Soziologie

Tel.: +49 (6221) 54 2970


Conference Venue


Voßstraße 2
Room 212
69115 Heidelberg