Foreign Policy Blogs

Corruption and Accountability

Situating Putin

Situating Putin

With Vladimir Putin’s re-election for a six year term, and with him talking of helping himself to second-six year term after that, it is a good time to take stock of what Masha Gessen calls the “criminal tyranny” he has established in Russia. Gessen, the author of a …

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The 2011 Most Corrupt BRICS Country Award Goes to…

The 2011 Most Corrupt BRICS Country Award Goes to…

It is December and that means holiday parties and awards for most companies, organizations and government departments. So here is a little award of my own.
Two of Transparency International’s (TI) biggest reports were recently released. The first is the 2011 Bribe Payer’s Index (BPI). The 2011 …

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Accountability in Egypt

The turmoil in Egypt raises endless questions about accountability. To name a few: Is it possible for a dictator to be accountable to his people? What responsibility do Egypt’s allies have for holding him accountable? Are the massive public demonstrations currently on display doing any more for …

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How serious the crime?

The return of former president Jean-Claude Duvalier was a shock to Haiti, both in terms of surprise as well as the frisson that it sent through much of the population. Associated by some with a time of stability, “Baby Doc” Duvalier was more commonly known for the brutal legacy …

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Corruption takes down another leader

This week, the president of Tunisia, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, fled the country amid massive demonstrations against his administration’s authoritarianism and corruption. It was a success for those who believe that corruption should not be tolerated and corrupt officials should be driven from power.
While the protests began after a …

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What Wikileaks has to say about corruption

What Wikileaks has to say about corruption

The latest Wikileaks revelations are too extensive for any single person to have yet sifted through, and they pertain to so many aspects of foreign policy that it is difficult to know where to focus. Here are some of the highlights related to corruption.
In the category of “I knew just …

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Government-civil society coop(era)tion

This month was the biannual International Anti-Corruption Conference, which took place this year in Bangkok. The conference is an opportunity for a large portion of the world’s people who are thinking about corruption to get together, share ideas, learn what’s new, and of course schmooze (a bit).
The theme …

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The Corruption Perceptions Index: spotlight on Morocco

This past Tuesday marked the annual release of the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), Transparency International’s opportunity to name and shame all over the world. This year, as in most years, there were few surprises: the index is actually designed to favor stability over dramatic changes in order …

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Ending poverty by reducing corruption

Last week the United Nations held a summit on the Millennium Development Goals. This is a set of venerable aims laid out in 2000 and intended to be accomplished by 2015. They include things like improving gender equality and ending extreme poverty. While some people …

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Unsustainable development

Unsustainable development

Is there a tradeoff between economic development and environmental conservation? I have just returned from Vietnam, where it is easy to believe there is. Modern tourists to Vietnam are often lured by the lush green scenery and pastoral lifestyle. The sharp green hills and women …

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The Achilles Heel

Corruption in the police force is commonplace in countries with high levels of petty bribery. In Georgia, the solution was to fire the entire traffic police force and rehire through objective procedures. In neighboring Armenia – where the government is either more gradualist or less committed, depending …

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The role of the media

As newspapers continue their steady financial decline and the press is criticized for everything from false news reports to jeopardizing national security, those of us who live in the comfort of a democracy may start to say, Who needs them? There are plenty of blogs to fill …

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The power of new technology

There is a muted but ongoing debate about whether a country can be democratic and fight corruption at the same time (see Success stories). A related debate concerns economic development. Thus, can the undemocratic Chinese government achieve the economic growth it aspires to without increasing accountability? …

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Wikileaks

In October 2008 I attended the International Anti-Corruption Conference. On a bus from the hotel to a reception, I sat next to someone named Julian Assange. At the time, I did not know who he was. He told me he worked for a group called

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The most corrupt state (and I mean U.S.)

Every year Transparency International ranks nearly all countries in the world in its Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI). In 2009 the United States ranked a respectable 19 out of 180. But within the United States there is considerable variation. Anyone who follows national news might make their own …

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