Our mission

The Corruption and Human Rights Initiative (CHRI) is jointly convened by Ulster University, Queen Mary University of London, and a range of civil society organisations. CHRI is a forum for researchers and advocates to collaborate on a range of issues that sit at the interface between corruption and human rights. CHRI aims to conduct investigative research into high-level abuses of state-corporate power for illegitimate ends in Eurasia. This investigative research employs cutting edge methods and analytical tools designed to illuminate highly opaque deviant processes. CHRI’s research will document in intricate detail the precise ways corruption harms populations, and violates human rights. It will concurrently engage with civil society organisations and activists to meaningfully support advocacy and policy efforts in highlighting and readdressing the impact of corruption on human rights; whilst also seeking to translate the investigate research findings into meaningful, positive outcomes. CHRI also supports bottom-up measures that address corruption and associated human rights abuses, through redistributions of power and stolen wealth that benefit victims, creating pathways for reform and non-reoccurrence.


The Team


Professor Kristian Lasslett 

Professor Kristian Lasslett is Head of the School of Applied Social and Policy Sciences at the University of Ulster, and sits on the Executive Board of the International State Crime Initiative. He is joint Editor-in-Chief of State Crime, a leading international peer reviewed journal, and Editor of The State Testimony Project, the first online casebook for state crime studies. Kristian’s current research centres on building forensic methodologies for documenting and analysing the networks, processes, and transactions, essential to the organisation of grand corruption and kleptocracy. His work is international, comparative and longitudinal in character, which a specific focus on theorising the transnational processes and power dynamics that enable and reward the exploitation of state and corporate power for the purposes of racketeering, fraud, market rigging, money laundering, and extortion. This work is complimented by a critical engagement with anti-corruption practice, focusing on transformative approaches to justice which address both the structural causes of grand corruption, in addition to the immediate human rights abuses corruption generates.

Kristian has published on a range of subjects in leading international journals and edited collections, including scientific method, state theory, action research methodologies, state-corporate crime, state terrorism, and forced eviction. He is also a regular commentator in the international media, and has issued three reports on state-corporate criminality through the International State Crime Initiative. His first book State Crime on the Margins of Empire was published by Pluto Press in August 2014. His second book, The Crimes of Urbanisation, was published by Routledge in 2018.


Thomas Mayne

Thomas Mayne is a freelance researcher and writer. He graduated from the University of Oxford in 2001 with a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages. He worked as a Senior Campaigner at anti-corruption NGO Global Witness from 2003-2015, where he was responsible for the group’s work on the former Soviet Union. He also attended board meetings of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), and assisted with regional training sessions in Central Asia, especially on the issue of beneficial ownership. Since leaving Global Witness he has worked for a variety of NGOs on governance issues. He authored several entries in the NRGI 2017 Resource Governance Index (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Tanzania).


Dr Anna McKeever

Anna is a research associate on the project Corruption and Human Rights at Ulster University. She holds a PhD in Politics from Ulster University, with her thesis examining causes and mechanisms of immigration policy change in the UK, Switzerland and France.

She also has two MA in Politics, one from Central European University in Budapest and another one from the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. Her research interests lie in the area of right wing political parties and immigration. In addition to research, Anna has four year experience teaching politics and qualitative research methods classes to undergraduate students in Ulster University.


Jessica McElhone

Jessica is a doctoral researcher at the Transitional Justice Institute, Ulster University. She graduated with first class honours in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Ulster University. Her PhD research is looking at the transformative dimensions of international asset recovery for communities harmed by corruption. This research in particular will examine how inclusive asset restitution is at incorporating the voice and interests of victims at the design, implementation and outcome stages. Her research is supervised by Professor Kristian Lasslett and Professor Rory O’Connell.