The enormity of the situation brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic invites – or rather forces – us to reflect on the nature and effectiveness of our systems of governance. And not just of health systems, but more broadly the governance of our very complex societies and their transnational flows.

I start with some definitions, as the term governance is itself broad and contested.

High-profile law enforcement operations against illegal wildlife trade (IWT), such as Interpol’s Operation Thunderball in July and the arrest of notorious trafficker Moazu Kromah in Uganda in June, have drawn welcome attention to IWT as a financial and organised crime and not only a conservation issue.

Yet in working to strengthen legal frameworks and law enforcement capacity in countries that suffer from high levels of IWT, we must not forget the social drivers and facilitators behind wildlife trafficking – factors that laws alone are powerless to change.

This quick guide draws on a more comprehensive blog by Claudia Baez Camargo published on the website of the Global Integrity Anti-Corruption Evidence (GI-ACE) research programme.

Find more details on the GI-ACE anti-corruption research projects led by Dr Baez Camargo’s team at the Basel Institute on Governance, as well as other pioneering research on social norms and implications for anti-corruption practice, at the end of this guide.

A summary of groundbreaking research into social norms and attitudes towards corruption by our Public Governance team has been published in Ellis, Jane (ed.) Corruption, Social Sciences and the Law – Exploration across the disciplines. Published by Routledge, the book is part of a series entitled The Law of Financial Crime.

This eye-opening exploration of social norms and attitudes towards corruption appears in Chapter 12 of Ellis, Jane (ed.) Corruption, Social Sciences and the Law – Exploration across the disciplines, published by Routledge on 15 May 2019 as part of a series entitled The Law of Financial Crime. See the publisher's flyer with full details of the book and a 20% discount code.