Foreign Policy Blogs

Corruption and Accountability

A quick anti-corruption stopover

Last week President Obama flew to Afghanistan to rally the troops before the upcoming offensive in Kandahar. He also paid a visit to President Karzai. According to the Associated Press, “The trip was intended to let Obama tell Karzai that he must deal with corruption and cut the flow of money from poppy production and […]

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Internet freedom in the world’s most populous nation

Internet freedom in the world’s most populous nation

This week, Google closed its internet search service in China. Whether its January pledge to do so was a threat or a promise might depend on whether you are a Chinese internet user or a global lover of internet freedom. Government accountability today is revolving more and more around internet freedom. So-called freedom of the […]

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The crime of aggression

I have spent this week at the Assembly of States Parties for the International Criminal Court (ICC) in New York.* The purpose of this meeting was to give countries that are members of the court, as well as interested observers, an opportunity to prepare for an upcoming high-level meeting when they will review the progress […]

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Drugs and corruption farther north

My previous post notwithstanding, Mexico continues to be one of the largest sources of drugs headed to the United States. As in Guatemala, drugs and corruption go hand in hand. And, despite what U.S. law enforcement might like to attest, this is true on both sides of the Rio Grande. While it may be possible […]

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Guatemala, drugs, and corruption

Last week, the official drug czar of Guatemala as well as the chief of national police were arrested for allegedly leading a police ring that stole cocaine from drug traffickers. Now that is deep-rooted corruption. Guatemala is caught in a vicious cycle. On one side, the police and security forces have become involved in organized […]

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Berlusconi does it again

Italian politics is always colorful, especially so when Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is involved. His latest move gives an ironic twist to corruption fighting. Berlusconi has been accused of everything from womanizing to mafia links, but to date he has mostly slithered out between the fingers of the law. One current trial accuses him of […]

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The latest Global Integrity Index

Global Integrity released its latest Integrity Index this week. It includes scores and narrative descriptions about corruption in countries worldwide. This year’s press release briefly considers the effect of foreign aid on anti-corruption enforcement. It cites Uganda and Bosnia & Herzegovina as countries with major donor support that have not made significant gains, “lending credence […]

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The curtain drawn over China

Corruption takes different forms in different countries, depending on which actions will have the least consequences. In rich countries, corruption tends to be confined to politics and business. In poor countries, low-level officials requesting bribes might be predominant. Some governments lack the ability to fight corruption and others lack the desire. Corruption in China has […]

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It's the Corruption, Stupid: Corruption, Security and the Counter Insurgency in Afghanistan

by Guest Blogger Donald Bowser [email protected] In Afghanistan the international community has finally come around to understanding the need to fight corruption. Until recently corruption in the country was seen as either being “too engrained” in Afghan society or ”too sensitive” an issue to push for reform. However, the situation is dire and too little […]

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Success stories

Can corruption really be fought? That is, can you change a society from one whose everyday wheels are greased by bribes to one in which petty corruption is rare and shunned? Can you, say, turn Uzbekistan into Britain? The textbook examples of such change are Singapore and Hong Kong. Both faced corruption as a commonplace […]

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BAE pleads guilty

An update on BAE: It has pled guilty to charges in both the United States and Britain. It will pay nearly $450 million in penalties.

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Crackdown on BAE

Last week the UK’s Serious Fraud Office brought bribery charges against an agent of British defense contractor BAE. These are the first criminal charges to be brought against a company that has been under investigation for more than five years. The status of BAE is highly contentious. Unlike Siemens, another major company accused of bribery, […]

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Combatting corruption in humanitarian emergencies

In follow-up to my Haiti post, Transparency International has just released a handbook on humanitarian aid. Very interesting and worth checking out.

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Money politics

Campaign finance is one of the gray areas of corruption, a practice that makes those concerned with accountability squirm, but one that is largely legal. Few would claim that democracy is served when a donor’s financing of a political campaign leads directly to policies in favor of that donor – but such a link is […]

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Former Guatemalan President charged

The former president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo, has been charged with money-laundering in the United States, whose banks he had been using to allegedly embezzle from the Guatemalan government. This is an admirable example of an international effort to fight otherwise domestic corruption.

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