Begin with recognizing that all political systems need money, and that political finance should be regulated. This in turn requires drawing a distinction between political spending and corruption. This is a simple distinction to assert but a remarkably difficult one to delineate in practice.
The difference between legitimate funding of political institutions and patronage systems, and theft, needs to be drawn differently for each political system. So the next step is to initiate a process that allows countries to draw this line themselves. In institutionalized political systems, there can be an open debate on political financing, leading to legislation and enforcement. In political markets, it is the political financiers—the domestic businesses, foreign investors and patrons who provide the political money—who must take the lead. Let them collectively determine what counts as corruption and what is legitimate political spending.Continue Reading →
Across a swathe of the world—most places in what we can call the ‘Greater Middle East’ from the Sahara and the Maghreb, through the Horn of Africa and the Levant to Iraq and Central Asia—political systems are moving away from institutional forms, away from familiar forms of nationalism, and away from familiar forms of democracy […]Continue Reading →
Currently out of the headlines, South Sudan’s war, which began in December 2013, is a brutal competition for power between President Salva Kiir and his former vice president, Riek Machar. This conflict […]Continue Reading →
It’s no coincidence that South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir cracked down hard on dissent at precisely the same moment that he reluctantly signed the ‘Compromise Peace Agreement’ that should, ostensibly, bring an end to the last twenty months of fighting with the SPLA-in Opposition forces. This also reveals why the tools of targeted financial sanctions, […]Continue Reading →
The eighth and final episode in the comic illustration of South Sudan’s predicament, with art by Victor Ndula and text by Alex de Waal. Sponsored by the Cartoon Movement, JSRP, and World Peace Foundation.Continue Reading →
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