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Research Profile

Dr Nicholas Lord  

Dr Nicholas Lord
Position:Research Assistant
School:Social Sciences

Telephone:+ 44 (0)29 208 76909
contact info:

Address:2.23 Glamorgan Building


  • 2008-2012: 1+3 ESRC funded PhD in Criminology at Cardiff University (synopsis below) – Title: ‘Regulating transnational corporate bribery in the UK and Germany’
  • 2007-2008: MSc Social Science Research Methods (Distinction) at Cardiff University – Dissertation: Media representations of corporate crimes and scandals: a comparative study of Britain, Germany and the USA.
  • 2002-2006: BA Hons Criminology and German Studies (First) at Lancaster University – Included a one year placement in Germany working as a Language Assistant.

Research Interests

My research interests include:

  • Corporate bribery and corruption
  • Corporate and white-collar crime
  • Financial and economic crime
  • Urban security and community safety
  • Regulation theory
  • Comparative criminology

PhD Research Synopsis

Title: 'Regulating transnational corporate bribery in the UK and Germany'

Large-scale cases involving multi-national corporations such as the BAE Systems and Siemens bribery scandals illustrate the complex organisation of such serious trans-national and multi-jurisdictional crimes. Sovereign states that do not have an active enforcement stance against transnational bribery are facing intense criticism from ‘moral entrepreneurs’ such as international and intergovernmental anti-corruption bodies. However, the regulation of such crimes faces a key contradiction: as business transactions become more global, enforcement and regulation remain at the local and national level. In short, national authorities are pressured to respond to trans-national corporate bribery using inter-national frameworks for enforcement.

This thesis imported regulatory concepts to understand the variety of enforcement (e.g. criminal prosecution, civil sanctioning) and non-enforcement (e.g. self-regulation, accommodation) practices that help explain policy responses to transnational bribery. Comparing these responses in Germany and the UK provides a useful empirical focus for examining the strengths and limitations of national enforcement approaches given both jurisdictions inhabit similar institutional contexts for corporate bribery e.g. relatively strong western European economies, fellow members of the EU/G8, subject to international conventions. The research incorporated a qualitative, comparative research strategy that involved semi-structured interviews, participant observation and bilingual document analysis.

The research found that despite significant differences (e.g. centralised or decentralised systems, existence of corporate criminal liability, legal cultures), both UK and German anti-corruption authorities (i) face similar difficulties in enforcement as they are limited by their national jurisdictional boundaries and face several procedural, evidential, legal, financial and structural obstacles but (ii) are converging towards similar prosecution policies (e.g. negotiation of civil settlements for corporations). However, in both cases, evidence suggests enforcement and emerging self-regulatory practices are limited in relation to the anti-corruption actors’ own estimation of the problem. Therefore, (iii) the default position of the response is an accommodation of corporate bribery, even where the will to enforce is high.

Current Research  

Urban Security Management

The URBIS project questions the possibilities for ‘urban security management’ given the increasing freedom of movement of people, goods and services across national borders, an increasingly austere economic climate and consequent pressures on governing capacity in European cities. The distinctiveness of the current situation is captured in the idea of ‘acting locally while thinking globally’ about threats to the freedom and security of European citizens. In particular the project explores which public authorities are empowered and legally obliged to manage urban security, what skills and competencies they have to undertake this responsibility and what educational and training provision currently exists in support of their work. On the basis of this review, the project will consider any further need to professionalise this area of work. It will then design and trial a postgraduate-level programme of teaching and learning emphasising a comparative understanding of urban security in Europe and questioning the possibilities for exchanging expertise and experience amongst public authorities.

For more information about the project please visit the project website by clicking here.