Foreign Policy Blogs

Tag Archives: corruption

New Year’s Resolutions

It is the time of year when people promise to do things differently, when they commit to change. What might world leaders resolve for fighting corruption and promoting accountability in 2010? There are few political or business leaders on the planet who would not publicly vouch for anti-corruption and accountability. This is the lingo of […]

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Where there’s a will

Can corruption really be stopped? With all the fuss that is made about anti-corruption programs and holding corrupt leaders to account, this is not a trivial question. There are people who argue that corruption is simply “the way things are done here” or “part of the culture,” implying that change is not possible. In this, […]

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The Karzai administration

The country perhaps most associated with corruption in the U.S. popular press today is Afghanistan. Coverage of corruption in Afghanistan has mushroomed since the August presidential election, which observers found to be riddled with fraud. While it is not necessarily a valid assumption that electoral fraud indicates systemic corruption, in this case the accusation is […]

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Congo and Guinea — Little Big Men

Last spring, I attended an event about the new positive resource contracts of Liberia, held at Revenue Watch, an international NGO which seeks transparency in the finances of governments with natural resources. During the Q & A, a man got up to congratulate a Liberian official there, and to pray that in his own country, […]

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Will Corruption Undermine Democracy?

Can democracy survive 21st century capitalism? In October, the courts of France dismissed a suit by Transparency International (and other plaintiffs) that sought to investigate how three African dictators in Francophone Africa came to possess hundreds of millions of dollars even though the people of  their countries were amongst the poorest in the world. The […]

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Rise of Income, Anti-corruption and Respect for Minority Rights in Bangladesh

Bangladesh seems to have improved some of its aggregate income and governance metrices.  Per capita income seems to have improved over fiscal year 2007-2008.  Nevertheless, hit by the global recession aggregate GDP growth decreased by 0.3%. As The Daily Star reported recently, a “World Bank (WB) report says poverty may increase by 0.3 percentage point […]

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Elections, Militias, and a Culture of Impunity

Elections are events that always garner attention. Whether its to see how a particular politician will fare, what direction a country may be headed with its policies, or as a barometer of corruption, elections are covered by the world media regardless of where they occur. Unfortunately, there are places where election coverage can only achieve […]

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Ecuador and Chevron — Another Round

Last week, it was revealed that the supposed informant in the bribery case against the Ecuadorean officials deciding the $27 billion pollution case is a convicted felon. (Conspiring to traffic 275,000 pounds of marijuana, sic-ing his pit bull on a woman.) It doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s lying about the bribery charge — just that […]

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Money: The Morning After

For at least three decades now, personal wealth has been a political asset. In both the industrialized and developing worlds, in the words of Deng Xiaoping of China, “to get rich is glorious.” Money was access to political power, political power (especially in the developing world) access to money. I remember about four years ago, […]

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Will the Nigerian Peace Plan Work?

I hope the new Nigerian peace plan works. For years, Nigeria has been the poster child for everything that can go wrong when a country discovers oil. Instead of the prosperity, thousands have died violently, the country’s infrastructure has crumbled, the Niger River delta has been environmentally devastated, the army has run amok among the […]

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Obama Comes to Southeast Asia And Other News

Obama Comes to Southeast Asia And Other News

Asia – U.S. President Barack Obama will make his first trip to East and Southeast Asia in November.  During his 8 day trip, beginning on Nov. 11, Obama will visit Japan, Singapore, China, and South Korea – in that order.  He will focus his speeches on the global economic crisis and global security.  He will […]

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Vietnese, Laos, and Indonesia in the news

Vietnese, Laos, and Indonesia in the news

Asia Times Online has several great articles out this week on Southeast Asia: – Vietnam could be facing another currency crisis.  The  Vietnamese Dong may crash due to the governments unsustainable trade and spending deficits.   Apparently, things got out of hand as early as late 2007, when Vietnam started printing Dong based off of the […]

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Aid to Pakistan

Does the US care enough about Pakistan to face the long haul? Does Pakistan? The New York Times reported Sunday that the Obama administration is trying to decide what economic assistance to offer Pakistan, given the level of corruption and waste. American officials said the need to assist the Pakistani economy directly became alarmingly clear […]

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Chad Update

In the past couple of weeks, the International Crisis Group, which monitors and comments on conflict situations around the world, has been focusing on the African country of Chad. Chad is neighbor to Sudan and starting point of what had been one of the most anticipated oil pipelines in history. ICG’s recommendations ask Chad’s government […]

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Sweet Crude, the movie

The new documentary film, Sweet Crude, directed by Sandy Cioffi, offers a rare visceral look at the enormous problems facing the people of Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger River delta. Everyone interested in energy knows the complexity of the problem: massive oil reserves, oil companies only too willing to get into bed with corrupt military dictators (or […]

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