The triumph of far-right populist Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil’s October 2018 presidential election was made possible by a series of economic, social, and political crises that have shaken Brazilian democracy.
In Malaysia’s May 2018 general election, a grand bargain between ex–prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and reform leader Anwar Ibrahim produced a political earthquake that ended 61 years of rule by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).
In Romania today, as in Italy twenty years ago, the gradual politicization of anticorruption has come to shape the political scene.
The massive corruption revealed by Brazil’s “Operation Car Wash” points to fundamental flaws in multiparty presidential systems, where presidents must find ways to build coalitions in fragmented legislatures.
The grand corruption enabled by the rise of offshore finance has come to follow a recurring pattern: steal, obscure, and spend.
As explained in the essays that follow, kleptocracy has become a potent threat to the integrity of democracy around the globe.
To safeguard their ill-gotten gains, kleptocrats rely on a web of transnational relationships and the complicity of Western fixers.
China has seen a staggering number of official corruption cases in recent years. But does it merit the label of kleptocracy?
Russia’s ruling elite have used corruption not only to line their own pockets, but also as a tool of domestic political control and global power projection.
One of the world’s worst public-corruption scandals shows how a lax international financial system enables massive graft in developing countries.