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'A lively and learned guide to the politics, personalities and conflicts that are shaping a dynamic group of countries' FINANCIAL TIMES 'A fascinating and many-layered portrait of Southeast Asia' THANT MYINT-U Why are the region's richest countries such as Malaysia riddled with corruption? Why do Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines harbour unresolved violent insurgencies? How do deepening religious divisions in Indonesia and Malaysia and China's growing influence affect the region and the rest of the world? Thought-provoking and eye-opening, Blood and Silk is an accessible, personal look at modern Southeast Asia, written by one of the region's most experienced outside observers. This is a first-hand account of what it's like to sit at the table with deadly Thai Muslim insurgents, mediate between warring clans in the Southern Philippines and console the victims of political violence in Indonesia - all in an effort to negotiate peace, and understand the reasons behind endemic violence.
During the Soviet era, blat the use of personal networks for obtaining goods and services in short supply and for circumventing formal procedures was necessary to compensate for the inefficiencies of socialism. The collapse of the Soviet Union produced a new generation of informal practices. In How Russia Really Works, Alena V. Ledeneva explores practices in politics, business, media, and the legal sphere in Russia in the 1990s from the hiring of firms to create negative publicity about one's competitors, to inventing novel schemes of tax evasion and engaging in "alternative" techniques of contract and law enforcement.
Ledeneva discovers ingenuity, wit, and vigor in these activities and argues that they simultaneously support and subvert formal institutions. They enable corporations, the media, politicians, and businessmen to operate in the post-Soviet labyrinth of legal and practical constraints but consistently undermine the spirit, if not the letter, of the law. The "know-how" Ledeneva describes in this book continues to operate today and is crucial to understanding contemporary Russia."
Why are some countries less corrupt and better governed than others? Challenging conventional explanations on the remarkable differences in quality of government worldwide, this book argues that the organization of bureaucracy is an often overlooked but critical factor. Countries where merit-recruited employees occupy public bureaucracies perform better than those where public employees owe their post to political connections. The book provides a coherent theory of why, and ample evidence showing that meritocratic bureaucracies are conducive to lower levels of corruption, higher government effectiveness, and more flexibility to adopt modernizing reforms. Data comes from both a novel dataset on the bureaucratic structures of over 100 countries as well as from narratives of particular countries, with a special focus on the relationship between politicians and bureaucrats in Spain and Sweden. A notable contribution to the literature in comparative politics and public policy on good governance, and to corruption studies more widely.
This book examines security in three cities that suffer from chronic violence: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Medellin, Colombia; and Kingston, Jamaica. In each, democratic states contend with subnational armed groups that dominate territory and play important roles in politics even as they contribute to fear and insecurity. Through a nested three-city, six-neighborhood analysis of the role of criminal groups in governance, this research provides a deep understanding of the impact of crime on political experience. Neighborhoods controlled by different types of armed actors, operating in the same institutional context, build alliances with state officials and participate in political life through the structures created by these armed actors. The data demonstrates the effects criminal dominance can have on security, civil society, elections, and policymaking. Far from reflecting a breakdown of order, varying types of criminal groups generate different local lived political experiences.
Why leadership is key to ending political and corporate corruption globally Corruption corrodes all facets of the world's political and corporate life, yet until now there was no one book that explained how best to battle it. The Corruption Cure provides many of the required solutions and ranges widely across continents and diverse cultures--putting some thirty-five countries under an anticorruption microscope--to show exactly how to beat back the forces of sleaze and graft. Robert Rotberg defines corruption theoretically and practically in its many forms, describes the available legal remedies, and examines how we know and measure corruption's presence. He looks at successful and unsuccessful attempts to employ anticorruption investigative commissions to combat political theft and venal behavior. He explores how the globe's least corrupt nations reached that exceptional goal. Another chapter discusses the role of civil society in limiting corruption. Expressed political will through determined leadership is a key factor in winning all of these battles. Rotberg analyzes the best-performing noncorrupt states to show how consummate leadership made a telling difference. He demonstrates precisely how determined leaders changed their wildly corrupt countries into paragons of virtue, and how leadership is making a significant difference in stimulating political anticorruption movements in places like India, Croatia, Honduras, and Lebanon. Rotberg looks at corporate corruption and how it can be checked, and also offers an innovative fourteen-step plan for nations that are ready to end corruption. Curing rampant corruption globally requires strengthened political leadership and the willingness to remake national political cultures. Tougher laws and better prosecutions are not enough. This book enables us to rethink the problem completely--and solve it once and for all.
Winner of the 2018 Excellence in Financial Journalism Award From Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jesse Eisinger, "a fast moving, fly-on-the-wall, disheartening look at the deterioration of the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission...It is a book of superheroes" (San Francisco Review of Books). Why were no bankers put in prison after the financial crisis of 2008? Why do CEOs seem to commit wrongdoing with impunity? The problem goes beyond banks deemed "Too Big to Fail" to almost every large corporation in America-to pharmaceutical companies and auto manufacturers and beyond. The Chickenshit Club-an inside reference to prosecutors too scared of failure and too daunted by legal impediments to do their jobs-explains why in "an absorbing financial history, a monumental work of journalism...a first-rate study of the federal bureaucracy" (Bloomberg Businessweek). Jesse Eisinger begins the story in the 1970s, when the government pioneered the notion that top corporate executives, not just seedy crooks, could commit heinous crimes and go to prison. He brings us to trading desks on Wall Street, to corporate boardrooms and the offices of prosecutors and FBI agents. These revealing looks provide context for the evolution of the Justice Department's approach to pursuing corporate criminals through the early 2000s and into the Justice Department of today, including the prosecutorial fiascos, corporate lobbying, trial losses, and culture shifts that have stripped the government of the will and ability to prosecute top corporate executives. "Brave and elegant...a fearless reporter...Eisinger's important and profound book takes no prisoners" (The Washington Post). Exposing one of the most important scandals of our time, The Chickenshit Club provides a clear, detailed explanation as to how our Justice Department has come to avoid, bungle, and mismanage the fight to bring these alleged criminals to justice. "This book is a wakeup call...a chilling read, and a needed one" (NPR.org).
Professor Allan J. Lichtman, who has correctly forecasted thirty years of presidential elections, makes the case for impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump. Impeachment will `proceed from the misconduct of public men, or, in other words, from the abuse or violation of some public trust,' and `they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself. ' (Alexander Hamilton, The Federalist, 1788) Professor Allan J. Lichtman, who has correctly forecasted thirty years of presidential elections, makes the case for impeaching the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump In the fall of 2016, Distinguished Professor of History at American University Allan Lichtman made headlines when he predicted that Donald J. Trump would defeat Democrat, Hillary Clinton, to win the presidential election. Now, in clear, nonpartisan terms, Lichtman lays out the reasons Congress could remove Trump from the Oval Office: his ties to Russia before and after the election, the complicated financial conflicts of interest at home and abroad, and his abuse of executive authority. The Case for Impeachment also offers a fascinating look at presidential impeachments throughout American history, including the often-overlooked story of Andrew Johnson's impeachment, details about Richard Nixon's resignation, and Bill Clinton's hearings. Lichtman shows how Trump exhibits many of the flaws (and more) that have doomed past presidents. As the Nixon Administration dismissed the reporting of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein as `character assassination' and `a vicious abuse of the journalistic process,' Trump has attacked the `dishonest media,' claiming, `the press should be ashamed of themselves.' Historians, legal scholars, and politicians alike agree: we are in politically uncharted waters. The durability of institutions is being undermined and the public's confidence in them is eroding, threatening American democracy itself. The world wants to know where the United States is headed. Lichtman argues, with clarity and power, that for Donald Trump's presidency, smoke has become fire.
An Amazon Bestseller! The Most Comprehensive Takedown of the Obama Presidency! "If you want to know why the history books will have a dim view of Barack Obama, this is the book to read."-John Hawkins, Right Wing News and Townhall.com The presumption of Barack Obama's presidential greatness began before he even won the presidency. Now that he's out of office, presidential "experts" and historians are ranking Obama as one of our nation's greatest presidents, placing him amongst Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson, and Truman. Obama's presidency was certainly consequential, but it was by no means great. Did Barack Obama really save America from another Great Depression? Did he really unite America or improve America's global image? Did he really usher in a new era of post-partisanship and government transparency? Did he really expand health coverage while lowering costs and cutting taxes? Did he really make America safer and stronger than it was when he first took office? According to his supporters in the media, Hollywood, and academia, he did. But they are wrong. And they're working aggressively to ensure their version of Obama's legacy is written into the history books. How can you discover and protect the truth? Matt Margolis and Mark Noonan have compiled everything you need to know about the presidency of Barack Obama into a single source. First published in 2016, this book has now been updated to include the entirety of Obama's presidency, and the shocking details that have come to light since he left office. The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama compiles two hundred inconvenient truths about Obama's presidency-the facts that define his legacy: his real impact on the economy; the disaster that is Obamacare; his shocking abuses of taxpayer dollars; his bitterly divisive style of governing; his shameless usurping of the Constitution; his many scandals and cover-ups; his policy failures at home and abroad; the unprecedented expansion of government power...and more. In his farewell address to supporters on January 11, 2017, Barack Obama declared, "By almost every measure, America is a better, stronger place than it was when we started." This book destroys that narrative, putting Obama's presidency into historical context and offering an avalanche of facts that simply cannot be ignored. All of these facts are now at your fingertips in a single source. The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama is your ultimate guide to Obama's real presidential record-the record he'd like history to forget.
Revised and updated with a new preface on the Crimean crisis While most of the world was lauding the stability and economic growth that Vladimir Putin's ex-KGB regime had brought to Russia, Edward Lucas was ringing alarm bells. First published in 2008 and since revised, The New Cold War remains the most insightful and informative account of Russia today. It depicts the regime's crushing of independent institutions and silencing of critics, taking Russia far away from the European mainstream. It highlights the Kremlin's use of the energy weapon in Europe, the bullying of countries in the former Soviet empire, such as Estonia, Georgia and Ukraine - and the way that Russian money weakens the West's will to resist. Now updated with an incisive analysis of Russia's seizure of Crimea and its destabilisation of Ukraine, The New Cold War unpicks the roots of the Kremlin's ideology and exposes the West's naive belief that Putin's sinister and authoritarian regime might ever be a friend or partner.
This book empirically maps the decline in standards since the inauguration of Irish independence in 1922, to the loss of Irish economic sovereignty in 2010. It argues that the definition of corruption is an evolving one. As the nature of the state changes, so too does the type of corruption. New evidence is presented on the early institutional development of the state. Irish public life was motivated by an ethos which rejected patronage. Original research provides fresh insights into how the policies of economic protectionalism and discretionary decision making led to eight Tribunal inquires. The emergence of state capture within political decision making is examined by analysing political favouritism towards the beef industry. The degree to which unorthodox links between political donations impacted on policy choices which exacerbated the depth of Ireland's economic collapse is considered. This book will appeal to students and scholars of Irish politics, corruption theory, governance, public policy and political financing. -- .
A DAILY TELEGRAPH BOOK OF THE YEAR.
'A compelling, authoritative insight into possibly the most controversial death in Britain this century' Observer.
'Masterful ... This book made me proud of my trade as a journalist' Daily Mail.
'This searing excavation of the mysterious death of Dr David Kelly is investigative journalism at its best. It is brave, relentless, dazzlingly revealing' Peter Oborne.
In March 2003 British forces invaded Iraq after Tony Blair said the country could deploy weapons of mass destruction at 45 minutes' notice. A few months later, government scientist Dr David Kelly was unmasked by Blair's officials as the assumed source of a BBC news report challenging this claim. Within days, Dr Kelly was found dead in a wood near his home. Blair immediately convened the controversial Hutton Inquiry, which concluded Dr Kelly committed suicide.
Yet key questions remain: could Dr Kelly really have taken his life in the manner declared? And why did Blair's government derail the coroner's inquest into Dr Kelly's death? In this meticulous account, award-winning journalist Miles Goslett shows why we should be sceptical of the official story of what happened in that desperate summer of 2003.
In The Swamp, bestselling author Eric Bolling presents an infuriating, amusing, revealing, and outrageous history of American politics, past and present, Republican and Democrat. From national political scandals to tempests in a teapot that blew up; sex, bribery, blackmail, bullying, and backroom deals that contradicted public policies; cronyism that cost taxpayers billions upon billions of dollars; and personal conduct that can only be described as regrettable, The Swamp is a journey downriver through the bayous and marshes of Capitol Hill and Foggy Bottom. The presidential election of 2016 was ugly, but it exposed a political, media, industry, and elite establishment that desperately wanted to elect a politician who received millions of dollars from terror-funding states over a businessman willing to tell the corrupt or incompetent, "You're fired." The book concludes with a series of recommendations for President Trump: practical, hard headed, commonsensical, and concise ways to drain the swamp and force Washington to be more transparent, accountable, and effective in how it serves those who have elected its politicians and pay the bills for their decisions. Entertaining and timely, The Swamp is the perfect book for today's political climate.
Perhaps no other function of a free press is as important as the watchdog role-its ability to monitor the work of the government. It is easier for politicians to get away with abusing power, wasting public funds, and making poor decisions if the press is not shining its light with what is termed "accountability reporting." This need has become especially clear in recent months, as the American press has come under virulent direct attack for carrying out its watchdog duties. This book presents a study of how this most important form of journalism, watchdog reporting, came of age in the digital era at American newspapers. Based on the first content analysis to focus specifically on accountability journalism nationally, The Watchdog Still Barks examines the front pages of nine newspapers, located across the United States, for clues on how papers addressed the watchdog role as the advent of the Internet transformed journalism. This portrait of the modern newspaper industry shows how papers of varying sizes and ownership structures around the country marshaled resources for accountability reporting despite significant financial and technological challenges. Although the American newspaper industry contracted significantly during the 1990s and 2000s, as the digital transformation drove down circulation and print ad revenues, the data collected here shows that papers studied actually held fast to the watchdog role. Although the newspapers studied all endured large budget and staff cuts during the 20 years studied as paid circulation and advertising dropped, the amount of deep watchdog reporting on their front pages generally increased over time. The Watchdog Still Barks contains original interviews with editors of the newspapers studied, who explain why they are staking their papers' futures on the one thing that American newspapers still do better than any other segment of the media-watchdog and investigative reporting.
Despite intensified governmental and public efforts at corruption control in recent years, official transgression continues to surface in various ways of abusing the unique power and trust that a government holds.
Preventing Corruption in Asia addresses a number of crucial questions:
-What institutional arrangements are necessary to ensure a clean and honest government?
- What self-regulatory capabilities must government institutions develop in order to maintain integrity?
-How should a sense of ethical responsibility be instilled in the civil services?
-Do special anti-corruption agencies help keep government clean?
-How will a regulatory framework of official conduct work properly?
-How useful are anti-corruption campaigns in containing corruption?
Focusing on a number of carefully selected countries in the Asia and Pacific region, the book sets as its focal point the choice of institutional design in preventing corruption, rather than treating corruption as a practical or technical problem to be corrected by strong political will and good anti-corruption policy measures. While focusing on institutional designs and policy choices, the book also examines other aspects of clean government such as the social environment, legal and regulatory framework, role of the public, and the impact of culture.
Conventional wisdom suggests that partisanship has little impact on voter behavior in Brazil; what matters most is pork-barreling, incumbent performance, and candidates' charisma. This book shows that soon after redemocratization in the 1980s, over half of Brazilian voters expressed either a strong affinity or antipathy for or against a particular political party. In particular, that the contours of positive and negative partisanship in Brazil have mainly been shaped by how people feel about one party - the Workers' Party (PT). Voter behavior in Brazil has largely been structured around sentiment for or against this one party, and not any of Brazil's many others. The authors show how the PT managed to successfully cultivate widespread partisanship in a difficult environment, and also explain the emergence of anti-PT attitudes. They then reveal how positive and negative partisanship shape voters' attitudes about politics and policy, and how they shape their choices in the ballot booth.
Corruption, Party, and Government in Britain, 1702-1713 offers an innovative and original reinterpretation of state formation in eighteenth-century Britain, reconceptualising it as a political and fundamentally partisan process. Focussing on the supply of funds to the army during the War of the Spanish Succession (1702-13), it demonstrates that public officials faced multiple incompatible demands, but that political partisanship helped to prioritise them, and to hammer out settlements that embodied a version of the national interest. These decisions were then transmitted to agents in overseas through a mixture of personal incentives and partisan loyalties which built trust and turned these informal networks into instruments of public policy. However, the process of building trust and supplying funds laid officials and agents open to accusations of embezzlement, fraud and financial misappropriation. In particular, although successive financial officials ran entrepreneurial private financial ventures that enabled the army overseas to avoid dangerous financial shortfalls, they found it necessary to cover the costs and risks by receiving illegal 'gratifications' from the regiments. Reconstructing these transactions in detail, this book demonstrates that these corrupt payments advanced the public service, and thus that 'corruption' was as much a dispute over ends as means. Ultimately, this volume demonstrates that state formation in eighteenth-century Britain was a contested process of interest aggregation, in which common partisan aims helped to negotiate compromises between various irreconcilable public priorities and private interests, within the frameworks provided by formal institutions, and then collaboratively imposed through overlapping and intersecting networks of formal and informal agents.
'Brilliant observations on the anthropology of power. You will laugh aloud and you won't put it down' Daniel Kahneman In this eye-opening exploration of the human weakness for power, Daniel Levin takes us on a hilarious journey through the absurd world of our global elites, drawing unforgettable sketches of some of the puppets who stand guard. and the jugglers and conjurers employed within. Most spectacular of all, however, are the astonishing contortions performed by those closest to the top in order to maintain the illusion of integrity, decency, and public service. Based on the author's first-hand experiences of dealing with governments and political institutions around the world, Nothing but a Circus offers a rare glimpse of the conversations that happen behind closed doors, observing the appalling lengths that people go to in order to justify their unscrupulous choices, from Dubai to Luanda, Moscow to Beijing, and at the heart of the UN and the US government.
From the winners of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting 11.5 million documents sent through encrypted channels. The secret records of 214,000 offshore companies. The largest data leak in history. In early 2015, an anonymous whistle-blower led investigative journalists Bastian Obermayer and Frederik Obermaier into the shadow economy where the super-rich hide billions of dollars in complex financial networks. Thus began the ground-breaking investigation that saw an international team of 400 journalists work in secret for a year to uncover cases involving heads of state, politicians, businessmen, big banks, the mafia, diamond miners, art dealers and celebrities. A real-life thriller, The Panama Papers is the gripping account of how the story of the century was exposed to the world.
Aid agencies increasingly consider anti-corruption activities important for economic development and poverty reduction in developing countries. In the first major comparative study of work by the World Bank, the European Commission and the UNDP to help governments in fragile states counter corruption, Jesper Johnson finds significant variance in strategic direction and common failures in implementation. In a refreshing departure from existing literature on corruption, Anti-Corruption Strategies in Fragile States takes a public administration perspective, studying the role of organisational factors in the success of anti-corruption strategies. It is widely acknowledged that governance and anti-corruption interventions play a crucial role in reducing fragility and building legitimate and resilient institutions. Policy makers have re-framed development goals for fragile states to achieve stability by addressing their special characteristics: weak institutions and governance; low capacity and legitimacy in government; and vulnerability to violence. This book shows how anti-corruption and state-building policies are often disconnected or incoherent, and how executional challenges prevent strategies from translating into results. This book will be of interest to researchers and students studying (anti-)corruption, aid, international organisations or fragile states. It will be an invaluable resource for staff in aid agencies and non-governmental organisations in the fields of governance, accountability and transparency.
Banks accused of rate-fixing. Members of Parliament cooking the books. Major defence contractors investigated over suspect arms deals. Police accused of being paid off by tabloids. The headlines are unrelenting these days. Perhaps it's high time we ask: just exactly how corrupt is Britain? David Whyte brings together a wide range of leading commentators and campaigners, offering a series of troubling answers. Unflinchingly facing the corruption in British public life, they show that it is no longer tenable to assume that corruption is something that happens elsewhere; corrupt practices are revealed across a wide range of venerated institutions, from local government to big business. These powerful exposes shine a light on the corruption fundamentally embedded in UK politics, police and finance.
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