"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.
In an editorial for the Washington Post, Mohamed ElBaradei bashes the current state of affairs in Egypt, denouncing the corruption and "hodgepodge" of provisions that allows the ruling regime to retain its "iron grip" over the nation.
Jean Herskovits warns not to look at the recent spate of violence in Nigeria through the lens of radical Islam, but rather as a reaction to the rampant corruption and lack of governance in the country.
This paper from the German Marshall Fund of the United States notes Georgia's better performance compared to Ukraine in two key areas of reform: improving the rule of law and battling corruption. The paper says that Ukraine’s failure to capitalize on the hopes raised by the ‘Orange Revolution’ has been highlighted by the recent Nato summit in Riga, where it became plain that plans to fast track Ukraine’s NATO membership application have been shelved indefinitely.
Ray Fisman and Eduard Miguel look at which countries' diplomats at the United Nations rack up the most parking tickets and why. They find two strong determining factors: countries with high measures of official corruption and anti-Americanism are far more likely to amass such tickets.
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.
Walter Russell Mead says that it should come as no surprise that the U.S.'s work in Afghanistan has led to deals with "dark forces" and "unsavory" characters and the fact that many Americans are surprised by this revelation is a telling insight into the "American soul."
To most U.S. citizens Medellin is code for all that is wrong with Latin America - the lawlessness, the drugs, the delusion that a network of thugs substitutes for a real economy. Congress feels about the same way- the approval of a bilateral free trade agreement between the U.S. and Colombia is in doubt. Amity Shlaes writes that a recent trip to this city found a powerful turnaround that argues not only for endorsing the FTA, but also taking a second look at the region.
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 »