In a Time of Anti-Corruption Campaigns, Context Matters

Mar 8, 2018 | 22:20 GMT

A Brazilian anti-corruption protest in Sao Paulo on Dec. 4, 2016.

A Brazilian anti-corruption protest in Sao Paulo on Dec. 4, 2016. Brazil's Lava Jato corruption investigation has implicated scores of politicians, including presidents and government ministers.



  • While global corruption rankings heavily influence credit and investment risk ratings, the geopolitical context around the motives of anti-graft efforts is critical to understand.
  • Technological advancements in big data will enable interested parties to track down corruption allegations, sustaining anti-corruption momentum globally.
  • Anti-corruption probes can take on many forms: Some are pure window-dressing or power plays, but there are strong examples of top-down and ground-up corruption probes that can either align neatly — or directly collide — with the imperatives of the state.
  • Western powers will use anti-corruption campaigns as a foreign policy tool, but they run the risk of inflaming sensitivities over sovereignty in the process.

While Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been shaking down princes at the Ritz Carlton in Riyadh, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has been riling up protesters with YouTube videos of luxury dachas, and probes into Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht have been knocking down Latin American politicians like bowling pins. Whether driven by appearances, power consolidation or state survival, anti-corruption campaigns are pervading the global discourse....

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