Shadow World Investigations was formed in 2019 by Andrew Feinstein and Paul Holden, and carries on some of the work previously undertaken by Corruption Watch UK.

We undertake path-breaking investigations into cases of grand corruption, corporate malfeasance and excessive militarism, predominantly but not exclusively in the global arms trade. These case-studies are used to highlight the blurred lines between business and state, and to indicate the legal and political reforms that are needed to halt the corrosive impact of criminal and institutional corruption.

We focus on the global arms trade – and the militarism that underpins it – because it encapsulates and typifies the way in which criminal and institutional corruption undermines good governance and causes untold damage across the globe.

We distribute these case studies – and their implications – across multiple mediums, including research reports, journalistic articles, critically-acclaimed and best-selling books, film, social media, podcasts and an extensive, continuous public speaking and engagement program.

Where appropriate, we work with law enforcement agencies and prosecutors to bring legal action. We also engage the government, media and civil society to advocate for reforms to the legal architecture that allows and enables grand corruption and other corporate malfeasance, and for progressive change in our political discourse.

Our aim is to drive progressive democratic change by fostering good governance and holding the powerful to account.


Our mission and philosophy

The mission of Shadow World Investigations is to detail and expose the illicit and/or unethical corruption of government by corporate actors and their enablers. We do so by highlighting the impact of the blurred line between business and politics on democracy, human rights, the rule of law, the environment and just and equitable development. This exposure serves to hold the powerful to account, and to create momentum for progressive change.

We adopt a systemic approach to corruption and militarism, in which we analyse these phenomena and their consequences in their political and economic context. We believe that corruption and militarism are the result of political choices, philosophies and ideologies, whether stated or unstated. We believe it is essential to understand these underpinnings, in addition to the obvious and crucial economic drivers that inform the arms trade and other malfeasant activities, in order to develop meaningful and workable solutions and strategies to alter or end this destructive behaviour.

Our approach

Investigate & Expose

The vast majority of bribery, corporate malfeasance and institutional corruption remains undiscovered. It is first essential to expose these cases and to make the details known as widely as possible.

Policy & Advocacy

Drawing on our investigative case-studies, we advocate in a variety of creative ways for changes to laws, regulations and practices in order to tackle corruption and corporate malfeasance.


Our policy and advocacy work is combined with active engagement with government, civil society and the media. In this, we place particular emphasis on the need to form or join broad coalitions of civil society actors to amplify our message. These collaborations allow us to push for the progressive political change that is ultimately needed to address the joint ills of corruption and militarism.

The team

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Our funders

A statement from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) Trustees of apology in response to evidence linking the origins of our funding to the Rowntree Company’s abhorrent practices overseas in the 19th and 20th Centuries. 15/04/21