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Centre for Research in Accountability, Governance and Sustainability areas of expertise

CRAGS is an interdisciplinary research centre that is home for researchers from all disciplines across the Faculty and the University, as well as external stakeholders who are interested in good governance, in accountability and/or sustainability and related issues. CRAGS has the ambition to engage with society in an impactful way including on questions of institutional design to shape incentive structures, and from local community development issues to global geo-politics, such as the recent competition in development paradigms between Washington and East Asia.

CRAGS members feel inspired by DMU’s designation as global hub for the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 16, which is to “promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels”. For this, institutional design is important, including the appropriate incentive structure, as well as mechanisms for meaningful accountability, effective and equitable governance and the long-term goal of achieving sustainability – all core interests of CRAGS. 

The centre has thus moved beyond its past emphasis on accounting and finance to study successful institutional designs compatible with SDG 16. Researchers from any discipline that have an interest in development studies, broadly defined (and including ‘industrialised’ and post-industrial economies and communities) are encouraged to join the CRAGS community. Other relevant topics are the role of communities, urban living, rural and regional development, centralisation vs. decentralisation, alternative models of political representation and approaches to sustainable high growth development, including as seen in East Asia and with the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.

CRAGS welcomes work from many perspectives, disciplines and using different methodologies. Many researchers at CRAGS prefer the scientific research methodology (inductive, empirically-based research).

CRAGS pursues a strategy to raise its international profile through international collaborations and links with policy-makers and stakeholders. It wishes to harness the expertise and enthusiasm of all other research centres in the faculty and university.

Areas of particular expertise and specialisation include corporate sustainability, community development and community banking, the legality and ethics of private and public sector activity, sustainable development and high growth economics, among many others.

Research clusters

Sustainable and Responsible Business

Community Development and Community Banking

Counter Fraud, Compliance and Investigation