"Many international development organizations hold that persistent poverty in the Global South is caused largely by corruption among local public officials. In 2003 these concerns led to the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which asserts that, while corruption exists in all countries, this 'evil phenomenon' is 'most destructive' in the global South, where it is a 'key element in economic underperformance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development.' There's only one problem with this theory: It's just not true."
"As western nations ring-fenced Iran's banks, they created a temporary market where gold could be used to pay Iran for its only major export: oil and gas. That chaotic marketplace created opportunities for men like Sarraf. He used his connections in Iran and Turkey to move almost a metric ton of gold to Iran every day for 1 1/2 years, according to a person familiar with his finances."
"The Corruption Perceptions Index ranks countries and territories based on how corrupt their public sector is perceived to be. A country or territory's score indicates the perceived level of public sector corruption on a scale of 0–100, where 0 means that a country is perceived as highly corrupt and 100 means it is perceived as very clean. A country's rank indicates its position relative to the other countries and territories included in the index. This year's index includes 177 countries and territories."
"The entire success of an international intervention can be put in jeopardy if corruption is not addressed early on in the process. Corruption in conflict can perpetuate violence and opens the door to organised crime. Yet guidance on preventing corruption is largely absent from almost everything to do with peacekeeping."
Still in its infancy, the international anti-corruption movement has the potential to enhance and augment human-rights rhetoric enormously. Both rely on arguments about justice, fairness, and the rule of law.
Elizabeth C. Economy says corruption and the failure to develop rule of law in China now define much of the country's political and economic life. With Xi Jinping poised to take over, the focus should be on significant political reform.
Authors: Terra Lawson-Remer and Joshua Greenstein Africa in Fact
Terra Lawson-Remer and Joshua Greenstein say, "Many resource-rich African countries make poor use of their wealth... Instead of creating prosperity, resources have too often fostered corruption, undermined inclusive economic growth, incited armed conflict and damaged the environment."
In his testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia, Elliott Abrams argues that "corruption is an insidious destroyer not only of Palestinian public finance but of faith in the entire political system."
CFR Senior Fellow Isobel Coleman speaks with Boris Weber, director of ICT4Gov at the World Bank Institute, on how technology is being leveraged to promote good governance and increased transparency in fragile states and emerging markets.
Jose W. Fernandez, assistant secretary of state for economic and business affairs, speaks about the State Department's work in North Africa, with a focus on fostering entrepreneurship, building public-private partnerships, and stamping out corruption.
Politician Bo Xilai's sudden fall from grace unmasks long-discussed corruption within the political ranks and undermines a smooth leadership transition for the Communist Party, says CFR's Elizabeth Economy.
The OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions (the OECD Anti-Bribery Convention) was adopted on December 17, 1997 and entered into force on February 15, 1999.
The Council on Foreign Relations' David Rockefeller Studies Program—CFR's "think tank"—is home to more than seventy full-time, adjunct, and visiting scholars and practitioners (called "fellows"). Their expertise covers the world's major regions as well as the critical issues shaping today's global agenda. Download the printable CFR Experts Guide.
The authors argue that it is essential to begin working now to expand and establish rules and norms governing armed drones, thereby creating standards of behavior that other countries will be more likely to follow.
The author examines Pakistan's complex role in U.S. foreign policy and advocates for a two-pronged approach that works to quarantine threats while integrating Pakistan into the broader U.S. agenda in Asia.
Learn more about CFR’s mission and its work over the past year in the 2014 Annual Report. The Annual Report spotlights new initiatives, high-profile events, and authoritative scholarship from CFR experts, and includes a message from CFR President Richard N. Haass. Read and download »