The Dark Side of Righteous Anger: Talking 188bet appabout Corruption After Alan García's Suicide

Two weeks ago,秘鲁前总统Alan García当局以贪污罪逮捕他时开枪自杀。Garcia's suicide provoked a diverse range of reactions.Among these,one of the most disturbing was a vulgartweet来自奥林匹克少校,a right-wing Brazilian politician who tweeted: "The ex-President of Peru committed suicide upon being arrested.Hopefully this trend catches on here in Brazil.It would big a big savings for the country." Olimpio,of course,is referring to the dozens of politicians in Brazil implicated in the Car Wash (Lava Jato) scandal.

奥林匹奥在推特上表达了拉丁美洲人民对该地区高层腐败的强烈不满。That anger is understandable.Investigations growing out of the Lava Jato operation—particularly those involving the Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht,which has admitted to paying more than$800 million in bribesacross 11 countries in Latin America—have exposed pervasive corruption reaching the highest levels of government.Ten former Latin American presidents (including García) have been or are currently being investigated for corruption,along with dozens of other high level officials in multiple countries,and possibly hundreds of rank-and-file officers who were a part of these schemes.But while popular fury over corruption is justified,it should never be okay to mock suicide or make implicit death threats.And while Olimpio's tweet 188bet appabout García is a particularly extreme case,this sort of hostile,callous,在拉丁美洲有关腐败及其犯罪者的公共对话中,暴力言辞正变得令人不安地普遍。188bet app例如,the current President of Brazil,Jair Bolsonaro还有他的儿子tweetedmenacing threats to Bolsonaro's opponent,Fernando Haddad,在竞选活动中,他说他“在监狱里照顾腐败政客”,因为他曾拜访过一位被监禁的政治家,and that it was "good that he already knew what it was like to go to prison." Since Brazil is still a country where you are innocent until proven guilty,and Haddad himself had not even been accused with corruption offenses (though several of his political allies had been),these comments were deeply disturbing.

This needs to stop.对腐败的愤怒是可以理解的,and to a certain degree a healthy development,given that for so long grudging or cynical resignation was the norm.But rather than channel this anger into violent threats,每个人,尤其是那些有权势的人,都需要更加礼貌地平息他们的愤怒。谈论腐败有一种错误的方式和正确的方式。188bet appCrude violent rhetoric is the wrong way.

So what's the right way?让我提出两个更合适的方法来控制对腐败的愤怒,并将其引导到一个更有成效的方向。

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The chart above shows what happens when policy is based on a slogan.In this case "Zero Tolerance." Procurement rules in both Peru and Colombia require that any public contract tainted by corruption be terminated immediately.As the Brazilian investigation into construction giant Odebrecht unfolded,it became clear that many projects to build highways,power plants,and other infrastructure projects in the two countries had been corruptly awarded.  Authorities in both countries then did what the law told them they must: cancel the contracts.

Most large infrastructure contracts in Peru and Colombia are in the form of Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs),立即终止购买力平价的成本可能非常高。不仅是对那些为获得合同而行贿的公司,但对贷款人来说,suppliers,and the hundreds of other contractors on the project who had no knowledge or involvement in the bribery scheme.  The greatest costs are likely be felt by the citizens of Colombia and Peru.  For as the chart shows,零容忍的后果是停止新的道路开支,power,and other essential facilities as investors and project developers shy away from the risk future contracts will be terminated for the tiniest of infractions by anyone associated with the project.

Colombians and Peruvians may today be proud their governments are so tough on corruption neither one will tolerate a speck of it in any contract for infrastructure.  Tomorrow citizens of the two countries may have a different view: when power shortages mean the lights won't come on and the failure to build new roads and maintain old ones produces horrendous traffic jams.

Last week the World Bank hosted a presentation by Inter-American Development Bank staff where the issue of why "zero tolerance" is a good slogan but a bad policy was examined and means for addressing infrastructure corruption without producing the results shown in the chart was discussed.  A paper the IDB presenters recently published,the source of the figure above and the basis of their presentation,ishere.   A video of the sessionhere.

Putting Anticorruption Up for a Vote: The Challenge of Designing Effective National Referendums

One of the biggest challenges in the fight against corruption is getting people in power to reform the very system from which they currently benefit.Over the past year,we have seen anticorruption advocates in Colombia and Peru attempt to bypass this hurdle using national popular referenda on anticorruption measures.

In Peru,the referendum onDecember 9,2018came on the heels of the massive Odebrecht scandal,which implicated all of Peru's living former Presidents.现任总统Vizcarra和他的支持者最初提出了一项包含三项反腐败改革的全民公决:禁止立即重新选举立法者和行政人员,reforming the system by which prosecutors and judges are appointed,and instituting new campaign finance regulations.The required legislative approval of the referendum tookseveral months,在这一过程中,立法机关又增加了另一项提议(总统不支持),成立第二个立法会。最后,the three original reforms passed,and the proposed bicameral legislature failed after a successful "Yes,对,对,no" campaign by the President and his supporters.

Colombia's referendum also came in response to the fallout from the Odebrecht scandal.8月28日2018,Colombia had a national referendum on七项反腐败措施that aimed to improve transparency in governance,制定法定期限限制,and cut legislator pay.Six of the seven measures proposed in the referendum had previouslyfailed in the lower houseof the Colombian legislature,but99% of votersapproved all seven measures in the referendum.Though the total number of citizens voting fell just short of the quorum required for the referendum to be binding,President Duque convened an anticorruption roundtable andvowed to implement all sevenmeasures by December 2018.The Presidentproposed eight measuresinspired by the referendum to the legislature,但由于立法者希望修改提案或避免对提案投票,这种势头已经停滞。With no clear deadline for if and when they will be passed,their fate is nowuncertain.

As I discussed in anearlier post,the Colombian referendum was not without its faults,specifically with respect to the inclusion of counterproductive retributive measures.More generally,while a national referendum may seem like an ideal way to bypass conflicted legislators,a referendum poses serious three risks that need to be addressed if one hopes to use this lawmaking mechanism to combat corruption:

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Today's guest post is from Professor曼努埃尔巴兰of the McGill University Political Science Department:

There seems to be a surge in corruption prosecutions of current or former presidents throughout in Latin America (see,for example,here,here,andhere).在过去的一年里,我们看到在任或前总统在Brazil,Guatemala,萨尔瓦多,Honduras,Colombia,哥斯达黎加,Ecuador,andPanama.In Peru,Pedro Pablo Kuczynski在腐败调查中辞去总统职务,and thelast three former presidentsare either facing trial or serving time for corruption.Argentina may soon join this list as a result of the so-called "Notebook Scandal," which has triggered a fast-moving investigation that has already snared 11 businessmen and one public official,and is getting closer to former President,克里斯蒂娜·费尔恩·德基什内尔。(阿根廷前副总统阿马多·布杜was also sentencedto almost six years in prison for corruption in a separate case.) Indeed,现在看来,拉美总统在离任后的某个时候,几乎肯定会因腐败受到起诉,if not before.My colleagues and I have documented the growing trend of prosecution of former chief executives in the region since democratization in the 1980s: Out of all presidents who started their terms in the 1980s,30% were prosecuted for corruption.Of those that entered office in the 1990s,52% were or are being currently prosecuted for corruption.In the group of presidents that began their terms in the 2000s,61% underwent prosecution for corruption.And,remarkably,自2010年以来当选的11位总统中,有10位完成了任务,要么已经或正在因腐败被起诉。

The explanation for this trend is not entirely clear.It's probably not that Latin American presidents have become more corrupt.Some have suggested that the uptick in corruption prosecutions is a reaction,by the more conservative legal establishment,反对拉丁美洲的“左转弯”,但起诉增加的趋势并不局限于该地区自我认同的左派领导人;事实上,left and non-left leaders are nearly equally likely to be prosecuted for corruption.Part of the explanation might have something to do with changes in prosecutorial and judicial institutions,media,or public expectations—the reasons are still unclear,and likely vary from country to country.Whatever the explanation,is this trend something to celebrate?Some observerssay yes,arguing that the anticorruption wave sweeping Latin America is the result of Latin American citizens,fed up with corruption and taking to the streets in protest,putting pressure on institutions to investigate and punish corrupt politicians.

While I wish I could share this optimism,I think it's likely misplaced.Continue reading渐次

How "Scandalizing" Corruption Can Backfire

High profile corruption scandals are making headlines almost every day: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is embroiled in multiple bribery allegations;巴西总统卢拉·达席尔瓦(Luiz in_cio Lula da Silva)因参与腐败而被定罪;Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski was forced to resign after his allies werecaught on tape buying political support to defeat his impeachment vote.The list could go on and on.And one cannot help noticing that the media coverage of these high-profile corruption cases often focuses on the most lurid,sensational aspects of individual politicians' corrupt behavior.例如,as the Netanyahu probes unfolded,以色列媒体强调了有趣的细节:内塔尼亚胡和他的妻子是如何被贿赂的Cuban cigars and Dom Pérignonworth up to $130,000,the state's annual allocation of approximately $3,000 for the PM'spistachio ice cream supply,andhis son's bragging of how his father pushed through a gas deal caught on tape in a strip club.And this is but one example.It seems that corruption cases are often covered as if they were TV dramas,with entertaining plot twists and voyeuristic appeal.To put this in the terminology developed by Shanto Iyengar in his电视新闻如何勾勒政治问题的书,much of the contemporary media coverage of corruption tends to be "episodic" (focusing on individual stories or specific events,putting the issues in a more subjective light,and including sensational or provocative content) as opposed to "thematic" (more systematic,摘要and in-depth,and providing a wider context for a more nuanced understanding of the causes and trends).

Such salacious coverage of corruption is perhaps unavoidable;these tawdry details attract more readers and viewers than dry reporting on financial misdeeds and back-room negotiations.And one might think that such coverage would be more effective in motivating citizens to take action against corruption—whether through votes,protests,organizing,or other means.毕竟,as吉米·乔克争辩道last year on this blog,anticorruption narratives can be more effective when they include dramatic stories with virtuous heroes and sinister villains.That may well be true for narratives fashioned by activists in the context of a campaign,but for news reporting,the episodic/scandal-centric approach may be counterproductive,for three main reasons:

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How Transparent Should Prosecutors Be 188bet appAbout Investigations Into High-Level Corruption?

今天的帖子将是我一直困惑的问题之一,without having much to offer in the way of good answers.

Here's the question:How open and transparent with the public should the officials investigating serious allegations of high-level corruption be 188bet appabout the progress of their investigations?

To be sure,no competent investigator or prosecutor would or should be completely transparent,as doing so might well tip off the targets of the investigation to what the investigators know,their investigative and legal strategies,and so forth.But even with that constraint,there's a fairly broad range of options.调查人员可能对所有事情都守口如瓶。188bet appOr they could hold regular press conferences covering significant developments in the case (and perhaps even going further to comment on the larger issues that the investigation implicates).Or something in between.

I was prompted to think more 188bet appabout this question in part by an exchange I had with若泽乌加兹at last month's Harvard conference on Populist Plutocrats.I was asking Mr.Ugaz 188bet appabout his experience serving as Peru's Ad Hoc State Attorney investigating and prosecuting high-level corruption in the Fujimori regime,and in particular how he dealt with concerns that his investigation might be perceived as politicized.Those who are interested canwatch the video of our exchange(which starts around 7:15:55),but the key part of Mr.乌加兹的回答(为清晰起见,略作编辑)如下:Continue reading渐次

即将召开的“民粹主义财阀:世界各地的教训”会议(9月23,Harvard Law School)

On Saturday,September 23研发,哈佛法学院,与芝加哥大学合作Stigler Center,will host a one-day conference entitled“民粹主义财阀:世界各地的教训。”The conference will focus on an important and dangerous phenomenon: political leaders who successfully exploit anti-elite sentiment in order to achieve power,but who,once in office,seem primarily interested in enriching themselves,以及一个相对较小的家庭成员和亲信圈子。许多美国人可能会发现,这种描述准确地抓住了特朗普总统,作为一个populist,but who is governing as more as a"crony capitalist" plutocrat—or,some would allege,as aquasi-kleptocrat.

Americans seeking to understand the challenges our country is now facing might do well to look abroad.毕竟,while Trump's leveraging of the power of the presidencyfor personal enrichment-由于支持者中的反精英情绪,在现代美国很可能是史无前例的。history,it is not,唉,unprecedented in the modern world.Indeed,while every country's experience is different,and we must always be careful not to overstate the parallels,many other democracies have had leaders who could be described as populist plutocrats,or even populist kleptocrats,in something like the Trump mold.虽然这种相似性偶尔会被注意到(见for example,here,here,here,andhere),but there has not yet been much of a sustained attempt to understand populist plutocracy/kleptocracy and closely related phenomena in comparative perspective.The September 23 conference will seek to initiate more sustained exploration of these issues,and will also provide an opportunity for experts from other parts of the world–who have more experience with political leaders who combine populist rhetoric with self-interested profiteering and cronyism–to offer a distinct perspective on the challenges the United States is currently facing.

The conference will feature the following panels:Continue reading渐次