From China to the United States, Europe to Africa, Southeast Asia to South America, corruption affects events and geopolitics around the world. Here, find reports from our cadre of global experts that take on this issue.
GIS Dossier: Argentina digs itself out of a hole
Nearly 20 years after its historic default, Argentina is still trying to climb back to economic equilibrium. Years of corruption and mismanagement frittered away profits from natural resource exports, while a “gradualist” approach to reform still ended in Latin America’s largest-ever bailout from the IMF. This GIS Dossier reviews our predictions and analysis for one of South America’s largest countries, trying to regain economic stability and influence on the international scene.
Paraguay: Awakening from a long slumber
Long known in Latin America as a backwater haven for criminal enterprises and eccentric dictators, Paraguay began to turn around over the past decade. Encouraged by growth from exports of soybeans and hydroelectricity, the country’s elite is taking cautious steps to strengthen state institutions and improve the rule of law. How far and deep this process goes, however, may depend on whether the export-led recovery holds up.
Opinion: El Salvador’s new president faces an uphill struggle
In June 2019, Nayib Bukele will take office as El Salvador’s next president. A fresh face from a small party, Mr. Bukele is focused on rooting out corruption. For its part, the U.S. wants him to tackle migration and is threatening to cut off aid. With a sluggish economy dependent on remittances, the new president will be hard-pressed to solve the problems that are chasing Salvadorans from their country.
GIS Dossier: Corruption and political transformation
Graft has long been a feature of political systems where rewarding loyalty takes precedence over economic efficiency or the rule of law. But recent events in Latin America show that popular anger at corruption has become a force to be reckoned with – fueled by the power of global markets, the information revolution, and democratization movements. This report assesses the geopolitical implications.
A new wave of unrest in North Africa
Street demonstrations have forced Algeria’s president to resign and Sudan’s to declare a year-long state of emergency. In both countries, these popular revolts are challenging entrenched regimes that successfully weathered the Arab Spring protests of 2011. Can this unexpected coda to the revolutions that opened an unhappy decade in the Middle East and North Africa lead to better results?
Carlos Ghosn and the rigor of the Japanese state
The surprise arrest of Renault-Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn is superficially a tale of personal greed and clashing corporate cultures. But drill deeper and the more significant takeaway is what the case reveals about the Japanese approach to law and the power of the state. That is why Mr. Ghosn’s fate could have an impact on Japan’s international standing and foreign investors.
GIS Dossier: Governance in Africa, the case of three countries
Three sub-Saharan African countries, all with decades-long, devastating civil wars behind them. Two are populous and large, well-endowed in natural riches, while one is a small, landlocked nation with no particular resources. Which one is Africa’s poster child of economic and developmental success today? This GIS Dossier examines why the longtime leaders of these three countries delivered such widely differing results for their societies.
Opinion: Property rights and the challenges of transplanting institutions
Since the time of Adam Smith, economists have understood that the wealth or poverty of nations hinge on the quality of their institutions. Political, economic and social rules of the game can be inclusive, offering opportunities for prosperity to all, or extractive, protecting the rents of a few. But the international effort to introduce one such rule – formal property rights – shows that even simple changes can have complex and unwelcome effects in alien cultural settings.
Integrating a half-empty Balkans into the EU
Citizens of the Western Balkans are entering the European Union much faster than their countries. As a result, the region’s depopulation is accelerating, driven by high unemployment, poor governance, rampant corruption, rising crime and unclear prospects for the future. The most desired destination is Germany, which welcomes emigrants as a much-needed supplement to its workforce. However, the geopolitical consequences of a half-empty Balkans may be disturbing.