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.
Ukraine’s revolution nears a test
This may have been independent Ukraine’s last calm summer for a while. There will soon be a reckoning with what succeeded and what did not after the revolution of 2013-2014, during which the eyes of the world were on Kiev. Ukrainians will elect a president early next year, with parliamentary elections to follow in the fall. There are plentiful indications that their verdict on the post-Maidan political elites will be harsh.
A new leader in Colombia
Ivan Duque, Colombia’s newly elected president, takes office with a clear mandate from his supporters. President Duque will likely try to slow the controversial peace accord reached with FARC guerrillas and address widespread public concerns over crime and corruption. But a factional political balance, and major challenges both at home and abroad, is already giving Colombia’s new leader a full plate of problems.
A powerful new president in Mexico
Swept into office by an overwhelming electoral victory last month, Mexican President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador will take office with a degree of power not seen in decades. He has prioritized several issue areas, including poverty, corruption and negotiations over NAFTA, but his specific policy agenda remains unclear. The new Mexican leader's success will depend on balancing decisive action with healthy restraints on presidential power
Algeria’s ‘system’ hangs tough
Algeria seems headed down a road already taken by other resource-rich authoritarian countries like Venezuela. Low oil and gas prices have made it harder for a crony oligarchy to buy off the public with subsidies and benefits. Their latest expedient to stave off reforms is to use the central bank to fund a government stimulus program, but that only delays the day of reckoning.
Armenia’s velvet revolution poses long-term risks
On the surface, the overthrow of Armenia’s longtime ruler Serzh Sargsyan poses no threat to Russia’s geopolitical position in the South Caucasus. Opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan, elevated to the premiership by popular revolt, keeps stressing his exclusively domestic agenda and desire for close ties with Russia. But the long run, reforms that tackle corruption among the local political and business elites work against Moscow’s interests.
Brazilian politics in turmoil as general election nears
With Brazil’s political class totally discredited and its key player, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, serving a 12-year jail sentence, all bets are off for the October general election. Assuming the incarcerated Mr. Lula doesn’t find a legal loophole allowing him to run, the current front-runner is a former Army captain, Jair Bolsano, with a far-right agenda. Brazilians are so angry that nearly half of them favor a return to military rule, under certain circumstances – but for now, that still seems inconceivable.
Russia’s new government shows tensions beneath the surface
It has become clear that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s reelection means another term in office for Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his government. To some, the lack of new faces shows the regime is headed for a period of inertia and stagnation. This view is understandable, but it is wrong.
Corruption in Latin America
The Odebrecht scandal, which started off as the Petrobras scandal in Brazil, has sent ripple effects throughout Latin America. It has brought down some regimes and even landed powerful leaders in jail. Perhaps the most important result is voters’ distrust of the traditional political forces. Unsurprisingly, parties in power are set to lose several elections, and in some countries, “outsider” candidates claiming to clean up corruption are leading in the polls.
GIS Dossier: The Western Balkans
Of all Europe’s trouble spots, the Western Balkans have a solid claim to being the most troublesome. One hundred years after the end of World War I, the region is finally stable and – save for a violent flare-up or two – peaceful. But plenty of tensions remain, corruption runs rampant and the rule of law is unevenly applied. With all these potential stumbling blocks, the region’s road toward prosperity remains bumpy. This Dossier reviews GIS reports on this region, so critical to Europe’s lasting peace.
In Mexico, disappointment with Pena Nieto fuels a desire for change
Mexicans seem set to vote for change in their country’s July presidential election, with Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador far ahead in the polls. The ruling party’s candidate is a distant third, and that reflects widespread disappointment in the current administration of President Enrique Pena Nieto. The government has notched up several successes in its reforms, but positive change is coming slowly, while a rise in violence and corruption have angered ordinary citizens.