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.
Opinion: Corruption scandals in Latin America can be good news
Large-scale bribery, graft and political corruption plague many countries in South America, but the region’s rising middle class and its renewed democratic institutions give reasons to expect that the problem will result in strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law.
Angola: leadership change and the risks ahead
It is now certain that Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos will not run in this year’s elections. The transition of power will offer the country a chance to begin to reform kleptocratic state institutions and address huge social and economic crises. The question is how much support dos Santos and his supporters will give the new regime.
Corruption in Latin America
Latin American countries have a long history of corruption, and the problem is as prevalent today as it ever was. Recent examples have shown that the rule of law and independent judiciaries can be a powerful bulwark against graft, but states in the region must do more.
Peru: PPK makes a strong start
Despite just barely eking out a victory in Peru’s June presidential elections, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski has made a fast start, gaining special powers to fight crime and corruption. The opposition has a significant majority in Congress, but PPK, as the president is known, is still likely to implement much of his center-right platform.
Mozambique looks for a way out of crises
Mozambique, once held up as a model country for the way it ushered in peace and reconciliation after a long civil war, now faces a new round of potential crises – from a huge corruption scandal, to fiscal instability, to a possible return of civil war. However, with new international investors in its natural resources and an incoming U.S. administration, momentum will likely be found to resolve these issues.
China sacrifices its North Korean pawn
One of China’s richest women was arrested after it came to light that her company was providing North Korea with materials that it could use to build nuclear weapons. She could never have done it alone. Plenty of government officials will be purged as the result of the scandal, but the smuggling will certainly continue.
China’s next big test: reforming state-owned firms
China’s state-owned enterprises dominate huge swaths of the economy, but their outlook is grim. Rapidly growing debts from politically driven loans, risky real estate deals and lower investment returns imperil their future and that of the entire Chinese economy. Many will be privatized, merged, or otherwise dissolved within the next few years. How this reform is managed will have a huge impact on China and possibly the world.
A ray of hope for South Africa
South Africa’s municipal elections, held in early August, resulted in huge losses for the African National Congress. The Democratic Alliance, under the leadership of Mmusi Maimane, gained a majority in several important metropolitan areas. The new local governments will likely manage to reduce corruption and improve administrative efficiency – to the benefit of the whole country.
Argentina’s Macri looks to build on initial gains
President Mauricio Macri’s administration enters the second half of its first year in Argentina having made important steps away from the populism of the Kirchner era. Its challenge now is to consolidate these gains despite a sluggish economy. Mr. Macri will need to continue making progress on economic reforms and win over opposition politicians who are distancing themselves from his predecessor.
Cronyism puts democracies and markets at risk
Behind the malaise afflicting Europe’s democracies and economies is an overlooked cause: cronyism. Big government can encourage businesses to seek favors from politicians and regulators. When that happens, the accountability needed for markets and democracies to function properly disappears. It is time to view crony capitalism as a systemic threat.