May 6th, 2011
Since his election Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has been talking about corruption. The subject has had prominence in many of his speeches since his campaign in 2008. In September of 2009 he announced a major reform program aiming to tackle rampant corruption in his country, although he didn’t actually detail what the reform program would include. Medvedev has also repeatedly vowed to tackle corruption in the court systems, stating that Russia should do its best to “make the courts become as much as possible independent from the authorities and at the same time to absolutely depend on...
January 5th, 2011
Sudan has been embroiled in two civil wars for most of the 55 years it has existed as an independent state. In the 1980s and 1990s Sudan witnessed four million displacements and two million deaths as a direct result of this conflict. Islamic-oriented military regimes have ruled Sudan since independence, which is large part attributable to the religious demographics. Of Sudan’s sizeable population of over 44 million inhabitants, seventy percent identifies as Sunni Muslim, twenty-five with indigenous beliefs, and five percent as Christian. Muslims are concentrated in Northern Sudan, while Christians mostly occupy the South.
December 18th, 2010
LONDON—Taxpayer-funded Lloyds bank may have stashed $9 billion for President Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, according to Wikileaks cables published in the Guardian today. Lloyds must now confirm if this is true or not and if it is then the bank must publically explain what due diligence checks it has done to ensure that these funds are not the proceeds of corruption, said Global Witness.
December 2nd, 2010
In 2004 while in a Comparative Politics class, I had a conversation with a friend, who was relatively well-versed in things political, about Freedom House’s Freedom in the World rankings. I remember referring the fact that Russia was considered a “transitional democracy” and he corrected me.
“No,” he replied, “Russia is a democracy.”
My friend was wrong, of course, but in retrospect that seems much more obvious than it did at the time. In 2004 Russia, with the ranking “Partly Free,” had only just begun its descent into authoritarianism under the direction of Vladamir Putin. It was that...